Anglophiles of Washington, DC united at the British Embassy in downtown Washington, DC on Friday evening, July 27 to watch the London Olympics’ opening ceremonies.
A jubliant spirit buoyed the crowd filled with notables such as Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Diane Rehm and Andrea Mitchell as they chatted and watched the spectacle on high definition televisions scattered throughout the neoclassical elegance of the building and gardens.
Diane Rehm, hostess of 88.5 WAMU’s nationally syndicated The Diane Rehm Show, chatted with DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray and NBC News’ Chief of Foreign Affairs, Andrea Mitchell, conversed with other attendees.
British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott welcomed the crowd, proudly holding an Olympic torch. “I am so lucky to be ambassador at this time as my country has the privilege of bringing this wonderful celebration of athletic excellence and skill to the rest of the world,” said Westmacott. “It is a glorious day to be British!”
The celebration quieted somewhat when the opening ceremonies appeared on the screens throughout the main rooms of the mansion as well as one large projection screen in the backyard patio.
As this reporter stood with Wing Commander Ian Cumming, Assistant UK Chief of Defence Staff, and his wife watching the ceremonies unfold, I learned how the opening ceremonies reflected the key moments of United Kingdom history and culture. “Isn’ t this thrilling?” exclaimed Mrs. Cumming.
Yes indeed, the London Olympics have gotten off to a thrilling start and undoubtedly Londoners around the world will continue to be enthralled by not only the athletic prowess of the world’s elite athletes, but the spectacle and efforts the host city will share with the rest of the planet.