Best of British for Games swansong
A phoenix soared above the Olympic Stadium as the flame was extinguished ending the London 2012 Games.
In another night of thrilling British eccentricity a final theatrical flourish saw the flaming phoenix rise above the Olympic cauldron while ballerina Darcey Bussell flew from the roof and Take That played at the other end of the Stadium.
The packed stands joined in with a rousing rendition of The Who's My Generation before streaming out into the London night with the Games over after a wonderful 17 days.
A world-wide audience heard International Olympic Committee boss Jacques Rogge declare of the Games: "These were happy and glorious Games."
He added: "We will never forget the smiles, the kindness and the support of the wonderful volunteers, the much-needed heroes of these Games. You, the spectators and the public, provided the soundtrack for these Games. Your enthusiastic cheers energised the competitors and brought a festive spirit to every Olympic venue. You have shown the world the best of British hospitality."
In a guide to the ceremony, Prince Harry, who attended with the Duchess of Cambridge, said London 2012 had been an "extraordinary" event which had touched people's hearts and captured their imaginations.
US president Barack Obama echoed that view, calling David Cameron to "congratulate him and the people of the United Kingdom and London on an extremely successful Olympic Games", the White House said.
As the world bade farewell to London, the host city gave the concert of a lifetime as stars such as Annie Lennox, The Spice Girls, Madness, Queen and Take That took to the stage.
The party marked the end of British sport's most successful Olympic Games in more than a century which saw a final medal tally of 64 - an incredible 29 golds, 16 silvers and 19 bronze. Athletes from all nations paraded through the Stadium taking with them their own memories of a Games which has been universally acclaimed.
After the Games showed off the best of British sport, the closing ceremony was designed to show off the best of Britain's past and present music scene, culminating with a glimpse of the carnival that awaits in Rio in 2016.