Queen's Baton Relay
A key feature of every Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises the unity and shared ideals of the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth and enables communities beyond the Host city to share in the celebrations building up to the Games.
History of the Queen’s Baton Relay
In 1958, for the VI British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Her Majesty The Queen handed over at Buckingham Palace, a specially designed baton, containing a message from herself to be carried by a series of runners to Cardiff. It was handed over at the Opening Ceremony and the message read to all those assembled in the stadium. 664 runners carried the baton in this, the first Queen’s Baton Relay.
This relay, conveying the Queen’s message, is now an integral part of the Games and has grown to include all nations and territories of the Commonwealth on its journey to the Opening Ceremony of each Games. Kuala Lumpur 1998 was the first Queen’s Baton Relay to travel outside the host nation, with Melbourne 2006 the first to visit every nation and territory competing in the Games.
Queen’s Baton Relay 2018
On Commonwealth Day, 13 March 2017, the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay was launched on the historic forecourt at Buckingham Palace, signalling the official countdown to the start of the Games. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II heralded the start of the relay by placing her ‘message to the Commonwealth and its athletes’ into the distinctive loop-design Queen’s Baton which then set off on its journey around the globe.
The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Barton Relay was the longest in Commonwealth Games history. Covering 230,000km over 388 days, the Baton made its way through the six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
The Baton landed on Australian soil in December 2017 and then spent 100 days travelling through Australia, finishing its journey at the Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where the message was removed from the Baton and read aloud by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
Designed for each Games by the host nation, the 2018 Queen’s Baton was made using macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic, sourced from Gold Coast waterways, and inspired by the region’s vibrant spirit and indigenous heritage.
The QBR in Scotland
As it made its way through Europe, the Baton visited Scotland between 22-26 August 2017 and the arrival of the Baton on Scottish soil brought the Games one step closer for athletes and supporters, as Team Scotland targeted its best ever overseas medal haul in the Gold Coast.
The baton travelled to an exciting range of celebrations with a strong youth and sport theme, showcasing our rich heritage, links to Australia and the Commonwealth and Glasgow 2014 legacy. With only five days on the ground compared to the extensive 42 day tour of the country in 2014 as Games hosts, the focus for 2018 was on school and community events and it was fantastic to see so many people coming out to support Team Scotland and the Commonwealth Games once again.