The Paralympic Games began in style on Wednesday when the Queen arrived for the global event's opening ceremony and received an ecstatic welcome.

Her appearance in the Olympic Stadium generated huge cheers and applause from the sell-out audience of more than 60,000 people.

paralympicsqueen

The Queen was joined by the Earl Of Wessex at the opening ceremony

Dressed in a pale blue and champagne dress and coat by Angela Kelly, she smiled at the warm greeting.

The arrival was more conventional than her dramatic entrance at the Olympic Games' opening ceremony, when she appeared to parachute into the arena with James Bond, the Press Association reported.

The Queen travelled to the stadium ahead of the start of the spectacular ceremony for a reception with senior figures from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

And she was escorted into the arena by the IPC's president, Sir Philip Craven, who competed in five Paralympic Games from 1972 to 1988.

Missing from the Queen's side was the Duke of Edinburgh, who is convalescing after a recurrence of a bladder infection.

But standing nearby were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both ambassadors for ParalympicsGB, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Kate looked stylish in a cream dress coat by Scandinavian fashion brand DAY Birger et Mikkelsen - an outfit she has worn on previous occasions.

Earlier, the Queen said that the Paralympic athletes "will excite and inspire people wherever they live".

In a statement released ahead of the event, the monarch said: "It is with tremendous pride that the people of London and the United Kingdom welcome the world to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

"The Games are returning to the country where they first began, more than 60 years ago.

"We look forward to celebrating the uplifting spirit which distinguishes the Paralympic Games from other events, drawing on Britain's unique sporting heritage.

"The athletes' endeavours and triumphs will excite and inspire people wherever they live. I look forward to memorable Games that leave a lasting legacy for London, the UK and the worldwide Paralympic movement."

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  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A general view of performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Members of the Armed Services bring out the Union Jack flag during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A general view of performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A general view of performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Queen Elizabeth II arrives at a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A performer during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    General View of the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    General View of the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    General View of the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    The Duchess of Cambridge talks to volunteers as she attends a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Queen Elizabeth II arrives at a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Queen Elizabeth II meets members of the International Paralympic Committee at a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Queen Elizabeth II is presented with three Paralympic medals by Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee at a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a reception at the Olympic Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    Professor Stephen Hawking during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A general view of the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    An Aerobility flypast at the start of during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    A general view of performers during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • London Paralympic Games - Day 0

    (left-right) IOC President Jacques Rogge with his wife Anne, Queen Elizabeth II, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lord Sebastian Coe, Carole Annett, Prime Minister David Cameron, Samatha Cameron, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and his wife Marina Wheeler during the Opening Ceremony for the London Paralympic Games 2012 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Swimmer Daniela Schulte of Germany carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

  • OLY-2012-PARALYMPICS-OPENING

    Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on August 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Wheelchair racer Zhang Lixin of China carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • OLY-2012-PARALYMPICS-OPENING

    Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on August 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: A flypast is seen during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Professor Stephen Hawking speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Servicemen and women from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force raise the Union Flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Miranda performs during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Swimmer Daniel Dias of Brazil carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Wheelchair rugby player Greg Smith of Australia carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: (EDITORS NOTE: THIS IMAGE WAS CREATED WITH A FISH EYE LENS) Fireworks light up above the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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    (L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, Princess Royal and London Mayor Boris Johnson attend the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on August 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: (L-R) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex look on during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform with umbrellas during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: A general view as fireworks light up the sky during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: A sphere descends into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Athlete Leo-Pekka Tahti of Finald carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Wheelchair rugby player Greg Smith of Australia carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Swimmer Daniel Dias of Brazil carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Swimmer Daniela Schulte of Germany carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

  • 2012 London Paralympics - Opening Ceremony

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Swimmer Daniela Schulte of Germany carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)