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British wit and whimsy open London Games

Last Updated 8:04 a.m. ET

(CBS/AP) LONDON - You knew this Olympics' opening ceremony was going to be different when the Queen's dogs showed up as part of film sequence featuring James Bond. Queens don't do bit parts . . . or at least they didn't, until now.

Using the magic of film, Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig were then wizzed by helicopter from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic site, where they parachuted into the stadium. (Anyway, that was the gag.)

The world was promised a different kind of opening ceremony, and that's what it got, said correspondent Mark Phillips.

This was a showcase of British whimsy instead of a display of massive power, as at the last Olympics in Beijing,

The smokestacks of the Industrial Revolution laboring to produce the Olympic rings . . . self-effacing humor, with Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean dreaming himself into the beach-running scene in the iconic Olympic movie, "Chariots of Fire."

An actor dressed as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, July 27, 2012. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Things were even a bit different when the ceremony got down to business: The Olympic flame arriving on a speeding boat up the river, and the flame in the stadium lit not by a sporting hero from the past, as is usually the case, but by what were called future Olympians.

The one constant: The Queen again, this time doing what Queens do - declaring the 2012 Games in London open.

But sooner or later, the showbiz has to stop and the sports has to start. The athletes paraded into the stadium the way they always do. The pre-game jutters as to whether London was really prepared to host the Games was over.

In the end, everything was as it should be, and the fun could actually begin.

London Mayor Boris Johnson says he spent all night dreaming about the opening ceremony and thinks it was better than China's stunning show four years ago.

"Call me chauvinistic, call me jingoistic, but I think we knocked the spots off Beijing last night," Johnson said.

"From the beginning I was crying like a baby. I just thought it was brilliant."

He lauded the cultural complexity of Danny Boyle's production.

"We weren't just Beefeaters and Big Ben. It was the real story of this country," he said.