The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games baton has begun its symbolic journey around the globe after being launched on its way by the Queen.
Standing in the shadow of Buckingham Palace and with the Duke of Edinburgh by her side the Queen sent her baton on its epic trip of more than 120,000 miles. The monarch placed the unique hand-crafted baton made of titanium, wood and granite into the hands of sprint legend Allan Wells, winner of four Commonwealth Golds and the 100 metre Olympic sprint title at the 1980 Moscow Games.
It will travel to across the Commonwealth – including all the home nations and territories before arriving back in Scotland in June next year.
On its final leg, the baton will be taken the length and breadth of Scotland on the way to its ultimate destination, the opening ceremony.
It had been processed along The Mall to the palace by Britain’s most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy who was accompanied by the Pipes and Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards and Pipes and Drums 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Royal Scots Borderers).
Before handing the baton to the former sprinter the Queen placed her message of support to the Commonwealth athletes inside it.
The note was written during her summer stay at Balmoral and was housed in a transparent cylinder within the baton’s pure titanium lattice work frame and will be lit up by LED lights. The words will remain a secret until they are read by the Queen at the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony at Celtic Park on July 23.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Glasgow 2014 chairman said: “Years of planning and preparations have gone into putting on the Games and we have now reached the moment when the countdown really begins. The baton is a tangible object. Thousands of people will carry it, and they will bring the Commonwealth to life in front of our eyes. As the journey unfolds, we will see a vast diversity of people, of landscapes and of cultures.”