LONDON – Crowds in London cheered and waved flags as they heard Wednesday that their city had upset Paris to win the 2012 Olympics (search).
Prince William, who is in New Zealand, joined the celebration.
"I'm looking forward to what I'm sure will be a fantastic Olympic Games," he said.
Jets roared over London trailing red, white and blue smoke — the colors of the British flag — to celebrate the win.
The announcement by the International Olympic Committee (search) in Singapore was shown on a giant television screen in Trafalgar Square (search) in central London, and in the east London area where the Olympic village will rise.
"This is a truly fantastic day for east and southeast London," said Robin Wales, mayor of the east London borough of Newham, where much of the games will be held. "It is a massive opportunity and also a big responsibility."
London's bid enjoyed a late surge, ending up as one of the final two against Paris after Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated in voting by the International Olympic Committee.
London's proposal called for creating an Olympic Stadium and village on undeveloped land in Stratford, on the eastern edge of the city.
Other venues would include London landmarks such as Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium and Regent's Park.
In a report issued on June 6, the IOC evaluation commission praised the "very high quality" and "high level of planning" of London's bid.
The only significant opposition came from about 100 small, private businesses within the planned stadium site who say relocation proposals offered by London 2012 officials aren't good enough.
London has hosted the Olympics twice — in 1908 and 1948. Britain mounted three recent unsuccessful bids, Birmingham (1992) and Manchester (1996 and 2000), but London was considered the only real potential winner.
London got off to a slow start but made big strides under Sebastian Coe, a two-time Olympic 1,500-meter gold medalist who replaced American businesswoman Barbara Cassani as head of the bid in May 2004.