Queen's Baton Relay Officially Launched at Buckingham Palace
Other | Published:
Tue 14 March 2017
The Queen has officially launched the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at Buckingham Palace in London.
Official Gold Coast 2018 ambassador and Australian Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley delivered the Baton to Buckingham Palace – before the Queen placed her special message to the athletes inside and returned the Baton to Australian Olympic great Anna Meares.
The Baton will now take on a 388 day journey that will see it cover 230,000km en route to the Gold Coast, starting in Sierra Leone.
The Baton will take in all 70 Commonwealth nations and territories – through Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Oceania and Asia – before travelling its final 100 days throughout Australia.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin said that launching the Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day held special significance.
"Launching the Queen’s Baton Relay on Commonwealth Day at Buckingham Palace is a fitting start to an inclusive and inspiring community relay that connects our diverse Commonwealth in celebration and anticipation of the next Games," Martin said.
"We passionately believe that friendly rivalry on the level playing field of sport can be a tool for building strong and peaceful communities and this has never been more relevant, as the Relay launch heralds the start of the Commonwealth family’s themed year of a peace-building Commonwealth.
"Her Majesty’s message to the Commonwealth and its athletes, carried safely inside the Baton, will be in great hands with many thousands of community Batonbearers.
"I look forward to following its remarkable journey and hearing the stories of all the athletes, communities and citizens involved."
Meares said it had been an honour to receive the Baton from the Queen.
"Receiving the Queen’s Baton from Her Majesty was an experience that will be hard to top," she said. "It’s a truly unique opportunity to be able to carry the Queen’s Baton and her message."