The Olympic Flame has been handed over to the 2012 London delegation, at a ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Greece. The flame was passed to the President of the British Olympic Association (BOA), HRH the Princess Royal, by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos. The Flame was lit from the rays of the sun at Olympia in Greece, on 10 May.

The official delegation to Greece included HRH Princess Anne - who carried the Olympic Flame in a lantern; Seb Coe - chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG); the Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson; London Mayor Boris Johnson; 2012 London ambassador David Beckham and five UK youth representatives. The delegation then left the stadium for a reception at the British Ambassador's residence.

"Like the Olympic Games, the Flame belongs to the world, and the arrival of the Flame in the host nation is a clarion call to the athletes and young people in more than 200 nations and territories preparing to gather for the London 2012 Games," Coe was quoted as saying on the organising committee's Web site.

"The Olympic Flame will visit every nation and region, shining a light on the people, places, communities and cultures of the United Kingdom. We have found the very best in our Torchbearers, who like Olympic athletes, will inspire a generation," he added.

A 70-day relay, involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles, will bring the Flame to east London's Olympic Stadium and the opening of the Games on 27 July.

The relay will start from Land's End and triple Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie will be the first of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry it across the country. The Flame will be passed on to the four nations of the UK before being carried into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on 27 July for the opening ceremony of the Games.

Take a glimpse of the Olympic Flame handing over ceremony at Athens...

Ino Menegaki, a Greek actress, in the role of an ancient high-priestess, lights a torch from a cauldron with the Olympic Flame during a handover ceremony in Athens May 17, 2012. Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne and including David Beckham on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896.Reuters
Actresses, in the role of ancient priestesses, dance during an Olympic Flame handover ceremony in Athens May 17, 2012. Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne and including David Beckham on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896.Reuters
Britain's Princess Anne raises a torch with the Olympic Flame next to Spyros Kapralos, head of the Greek Olympic Committee, during an Olympic flame handover ceremony at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens May 17, 2012. Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896.Reuters
Famous British soccer player David Beckham (L) and London's Mayor Boris Johnson enter the Panathenaic stadium before an Olympic Flame handover ceremony in Athens May 17, 2012. Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne and including David Beckham on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896.Reuters
British soccer player David Beckham (C) and London's Mayor Boris Johnson (L) stand under umbrellas during an Olympic Flame handover ceremony at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens May 17, 2012. Greece formally hands over the Olympic flame to a London delegation led by Princess Anne and including David Beckham on Thursday at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Games were held in 1896.Reuters