Crowds welcome Paralympic torch to London

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LONDON (AP) -- Thousands of people have lined British streets to welcome the Paralympic flame as it arrives in London ahead of the games' opening ceremony.

The flame, which is being carried by some 580 torchbearers in total, will visit London landmarks, including the Abbey Road crosswalk made famous by The Beatles, before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium in east London.

The 24-hour torch relay began Tuesday night in Stoke Mandeville, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of London, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expected to join thousands at the opening ceremony Wednesday evening.

The ceremony is directed by Oscar-nominated film and theater director Stephen Daldry, known for the movies "Billy Elliot" and "The Hours."