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10 Cities Poised For Greatness In 2012

Yes, yes, London is hosting the Olympics at a more than $14 billion cost that includes everything from a new Olympic stadium and other venues to high-speed rail to get the athletes to and fro. Yes, they've rounded up sponsors including General Electric (GE - Get Report), McDonald's (MCD - Get Report), Visa (V - Get Report), Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report), Dow Chemical (DOW - Get Report) and Procter & Gamble to help foot the bill. Yes, there will be tens of thousands of visitors and millions in local economic impact.

That would be just lovely if that's the only thing London had on the slate in 2012. Or this summer.

The Olympics are going to monopolize much of London's time July 27-Aug. 12, but there's a small matter of a big party in June to contend with first: Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee from June 2-5 to mark her 60th year as monarch and 86th birthday. The festivities include a parade of more than 1,000 boats, including the royal barge, down the Thames on June 3 and a full procession through the city June 5.

As last year's Royal Wedding proved, London has no problem being in the public eye. That's a lot of ogling in 2012, though, so closing the shades and summering outside the city may not be out of the question.

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