The cauldron was lit by Claire Lomas, who was an event rider and chiropractor until an eventing accident in 2007 left her paralysed from chest down. Since then she has married, had a baby girl, learned to ski and fundraised for spinal research. Claire recently walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit raising £204,000 for Spinal Research. She is now training for a cycling challenge in 2013.
During the event in Trafalgar Square, 26 Flame ambassadors from the nations and regions each collected a splinter of the Flame in a lantern to take back to the various Flame celebrations being held around the country.
The day began with actor Eddie Marson carrying the Flame at the Royal Opera House. He recently played Dr Ludwig Guttmann, the pioneering neurologist who founded the Stoke Mandeville Games, in BBC2 drama the Best of Men.
Other highlights include the Flame being carried by performers who will feature in this weekend's Notting Hill Festival, a visit to the Houses of Parliament, and a journey on the Docklands Light Railway.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: 'The National Flame in England will help to light the way to the Paralympic Games. It will also give people the chance to celebrate the amazing achievements of the inspirational Torchbearers who all embody the Paralympic Values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.'
In the coming days, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff will also host a Flame Festival. Each city's celebration will include the lighting of a cauldron using the National Flame, followed by a spectacular lantern procession.
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