The 2012 Olympic Season began Monday night (June 23) with the gala at the Royal Opera House and reception hosted by Britain’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal in Kensington Gardens for Indian athletes. It marks the beginning of a month full of parties and events all over London to provide over £100 million boost to the hospitality industry.
Also on Monday, The International Olympic Committee enjoyed a red carpet evening reception with the Queen at Buckingham Palace followed by a cultural program at Covent Garden opera house, which hosted the traditional curtain-raiser to the Olympics’ annual congress today. Boris Johnson will perform an Olympic ode in ancient Greek written by an academic at Oxford University, the Mayor’s alma mater.At the same time, Mr Mittal will be carrying the Olympic torch through Kensington and Chelsea this week, will host his lavish bash at the Serpentine Gallery.
Hollywood stars, members of the royal family and billionaires from across the globe will attend a clutch of members-only parties as London welcomes an extra 500,000 visitors to the capital. The top of every invitation list is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s UK-themed party on Wednesday at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at a cost of £60,000. Singer Rihanna is expected to entertain guests who include David and Victoria Beckham, Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Hollywood’s most high-profile couple are said to have installed giant black chandeliers, covered the walls in black chiffon drapes and will serve British classics such as fish and chips and Beef Wellington. With the party finishing at 10pm, Brad and Angelina are then hosting an afterparty at their £20 million townhouse, which they have rented while in London.
Actress Nicole Kidman is expected to join record-breaking Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps at a cocktail reception and secret garden party hosted by watch brand Omega at its Greek Street base during the next three weeks.
Meanwhile, Docklands has been transformed into a “billionaires’ playground” with its own private beach and easy access to local helipads.
Several super-yachts have moored in Canary Wharf and are expected to host members-only parties for the world’s most powerful people.Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich is rumoured to be on his way to London in Eclipse, the world’s largest private yacht at 557 feet which has its own missile defence system.