Image: Getty Images
The Baton be in Australia in March 2022, with a four-day visit planned between 17-20 March. The exact locations and activities of the Australian visit will be released closer to the date.
Her Majesty The Queen has officially launched the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in a unique ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen, accompanied by The Earl of Wessex, attended a special ceremony on the forecourt of the Palace to launch the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay.
They were joined by Batonbearers made up of athletes who will be competing in next year’s Games, young flagbearers from the West Midlands, the Birmingham 2022 Hometown Heroes and representatives from across the Commonwealth.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.
The Queen’s Baton will now visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth for 294 days, covering 140,000 kilometres. The global journey will conclude at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022.
The Baton was delivered to Buckingham Palace after being carried from Horse Guards Parade and down the Mall by the Birmingham 2022 Hometown Heroes, champions of grassroots sport in the West Midlands, who were accompanied by a Tri-Service military band.
One of the Hometown Heroes, Kevin Dillon, a boxing coach from Brierley Hill, brought the Baton to the stage, commencing the start of the ceremony.
The Queen and The Earl of Wessex, Patron and Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation respectively, met the designers and manufacturers of the Baton, which was unveiled in Birmingham last week.
The Baton was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology, and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to Her Majesty The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year.
It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360 degree-camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.
Dame Louise Martin DBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and The Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE, also accompanied The Queen in the ceremonial party.
Her Majesty’s message was brought to the stage by Haseebah Abdullah, another Hometown Hero and England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach.
The Queen then placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton, for it to be sealed and locked.
The Queen’s message will be read out in full next year at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony.
Four-time Paralympic gold medallist, Kadeena Cox, had the honour of being the first Batonbearer to receive the Baton from The Queen, marking the official start of the 16th Queen’s Baton Relay.
The official Birmingham 2022 mascot, Perry, who wore his bespoke tuxedo instead of his basketball kit for the occasion, was also in good spirits at the ceremony.
“I am absolutely delighted we have finally arrived at this special moment, the launch of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay!” Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said.
“This is a very important day for Commonwealth Sport as the message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visits our 72 nations and territories in this unique Baton.
Traveling for 294 days, and covering 140,000 kilometres, the Queen’s Baton Relay provides Birmingham and the West Midlands the opportunity to showcase itself on a global scale.
“It marks the final countdown to the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony on 28 July and provides hope, harmony and cooperation across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most.”
Tomorrow, the Baton will head to Birmingham Airport before departing for Cyprus – the first stop on the Queen’s Baton Relay. From here, it will visit the other 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, before travelling the length and breadth of England on the way to its final destination – the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Birmingham 2022 will welcome 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories for 11 days of spectacular sport, from 28 July – 8 August 2022.