Andrea Mitchell   |  July 27, 2012

Olympics opening ceremony to include 10,000 performers

Sir Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador to the U.S., previews Friday’s ceremony.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now, this is a state secret . the details of the opening ceremony of the 2012 london olympics , soon to be seen by more than a billion people.

>> nbc cameras were able to get a sneak peek at last night's dress rehearsals inside the olympic stadium in the east end of london . of course, her majesty, the queen, will be at the big event and stephen colbert got a preview of royal protocol last night from the british ambassador to the united states .

>> do you have to report to her?

>> not very often.

>> really? but sometimes?

>> sometimes.

>> is it true that you don't turn your back on her?

>> that is true.

>> you just back out of the room? do you have like mirrors on your palms and go -- does it go beep, beep, beep, when you're going away from her?

>> it's not quite like that. what you do is you do a little neck bow to take your leave, then you can actually turn and walk out forward so you don't walk into the furniture backwards.

>> there's no bowing here. joining me now, the british ambassador to the united states . good show. you held your own against colbert which is not an easy task at all.

>> i did my best. thank you.

>> how much excitement is there about tonight and the role of the queen, the role of the royals? we have seen a lot of them already at the games , at the preliminary games . this is really an extension to many of us here of the great jubilee.

>> well, it's a very big deal and i think london complete with the skeptics and all those things you know the british are famous for, really has embraced these games . we're pleased that it stopped raining. there are millions of people out there, it's really a very, very big deal . it's taken seven years in the planning. we're very proud of the arrangements we made, very proud of the fact that such a complicated city has been able to adapt itself to needs of the games and that we have used the games to do a lot of much-needed improvement of the infrastructure of the city. we're ready to go and state secrets as you said, but tonight, we are going to have a great party.

>> now, her majesty is supposed to have some role in tonight's opening ceremonies . we tried to get danny boyle , the producer of all of this extravaganza, to talk about it. let's watch.

>> how is she going to enter?

>> i can't tell you that.

>> you can't tell me much of anything, can you?

>> i definitely can't tell you that.

>> does she have to rehearse?

>> not really. can't really tell you that, either. it's weather-dependent is the truth of that.

>> whether she's there or not?

>> no, no, no, no. don't start that rumor. no.

>> do you want to spill the beans right now?

>> i don't have any beans to spill. danny boyle can't tell you, i can't tell you. it really is something which has been kept under wraps but i think it will be a great event and people will be surprised by the originality and how different it is to what people have been used to seeing at an olympic opening ceremonies in the past.

>> we saw that there was a bit of kerfuffle over mitt romney 's olympic comments. david cameron was inspired to say something about it and boris johnson of course, to 60,000 people. the press have just been brutal. talking about mitt romney 's olympic blunder, hands gift to obama and all of the other headlines, really tough. it does seem a little strange that here this good will tour started off with as some say, not much charm and slightly offensive.

>> it is tough. as you say, the british media are pretty unforgiving. i think mitt romney went with the best possible intentions. i talked to him just before he went and i know he said to me, said to the prime minister, said to everybody else he saw how thrilled he was to be in london for the olympics . i think he said a number of things since those remarks which make very clear that he does think we're ready and that he's looking forward to having a great set of games .

>> what does this say about the special relationship , because i think americans are as excited about the london olympics as the brits.

>> well, americans were wonderfully supportive at the moment of the jubilee and they saw our queen standing in the cold and the rain and they were hugely impressed by what was done and the millions of people spontaneously on the street. you have a lot of affection for our monarchy despite having for reasons we understand turned your back.

>> little fight 200 years ago.

>> but you are very affectionate and you are warmly welcoming to members of the royal family here. that's part of the relationship. we have been very lucky. we had the queen's jubilee, we now have the olympics . it is part of a very special year for us. we are thrilled the united states is part of it. more than half of the global sponsors for the olympics are american companies . people have voted in numbers by going there, they voted with their money to support us and we are really delighted by the degree of support and interest that we are getting from america throughout all these great events this year.

>> let's just say this is the first time the olympics are in london i believe since 1948 .

>> yes.

>> right after the war, and when we had all fought and had the victory to celebrate but also the rebuilding, so it's just so thrilling for us that it is in london . we are happy to be here with you.

>> that's nice to hear because yesterday i was asked why they were in london , not new york, because the new yorkers wouldn't have minded having the olympics this time but the united states has had the olympics many times. we're thrilled that it's gone back there. thrilled that there's so much interest. the first lady is there as well as governor romney. we're thrilled the weather is looking a bit better and we're looking forward to a set of games which we will entertain the world and has helped us to a great deal of continuing rebuilding, as you put it, of the city. not just after the war, but we have done a great deal to the east end of london which needed it so the legacy of these games will be very special for years to come.

>> thank you so much, sir peter.