The Journey of the Queen's Baton 2017-18
The countdown for the 2018 Commonwealth Games officially began in March this year when the Queen launched the baton relay at Buckingham Palace and handed the baton to the first carrier; two-time Olympic Champion Cyclist, Anna Meares. The baton will journey to all nations and territories of the Commonwealth before arriving in Australia where it will make its way around the country and end up at the Gold Coast for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on 4th April 2018. Here Prince Charles will remove the message from inside the baton and read it aloud to officially open the games.
Where has the baton been so far?
Upon leaving England, the baton journeyed over to Sierra Leone and then made its way across Africa including Kenya, Mauritius and Botswana before travelling over to the Caribbean. By the 18th March it had arrived in the America’s, starting out in The Bahamas then heading over to Bermuda, Canada, Belize, Guyana and finally the Falkland Islands on the 12th August – this is as far South as the Queen’s message will travel during the GC2018 Relay.
The baton landed back in England on the 16th August where it was showcased to the nation in spectacular form including parachuting with the RAF at Brize Norton, being carried down Oxford Street in London, taking part in the Liverpool Park Run and it was also half time entertainment at Anfield Stadium for the first Premier League match of the year at the stadium. The baton also visited the National Lawn Bowls Championships in Leamington Spa where Travel Places’ very own Steve Watson carried it whilst meeting Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin CBE.
Last Monday Scotland saw the GC2018 Queen’s Baton arrive in Glasgow, the host city of the Commonwealth Games 2014. It spent 5 days touring around Scotland and took its final appearance at the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo show. Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman, Paul Bush, told Inside the Games: "It was really special to have the Baton here at Edinburgh Castle prior to the Tattoo, one of the most iconic Scottish events acclaimed across the world and I believe it was a fitting finale to the 41st stop on the Baton’s global journey."
At the time of writing, the baton is in Northern Ireland, where it was initially greeted in CS Lewis Square, named after the famous Chronicles of Narnia novelist, in Belfast. A visit to the Isle of Man is next on the agenda followed by Wales, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus and Pakistan, all within the following month. There is still quite a journey ahead as the baton will then travel through parts of Asia and Oceania before arriving in Australia on Christmas Eve.
Did you know?
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay marks 60 years since a baton first carried the Queen’s message. The relay is a traditional part of the Commonwealth Games, much like the Olympic Torch Relay, travelling around the world via local heros, athletic champions and world famous celebrities.
Each host nation of the Commonwealth Games has the responsibility to create a Queen’s Baton – this version has been created using macadamia wood from Gold Coast native trees and reclaimed plastic collected from Gold Coast waterways.
By the time the baton reaches the Gold Coast it will have traveled 143,000 miles over 388 days and have visited 70 nations and home territories; the longest relay in Commonwealth Games history according to the Commonwealth Games Federation.