9 October 2013 Last updated at 07:23 ET

Glasgow 2014: Queen's Baton Relay launch

Key Points

  • The baton will visit all 70 Commonwealth nations and territories ahead of the Glasgow 2014 games which begin on 23 July next year
  • The Queen will place a message inside the baton which will not be read until the opening ceremony at Glasgow's Celtic Park
  • The BBC's Mark Beaumont will be following the 288-day baton relay as it travels more than 100,000 miles around the world
  1.  
    1023:

    Good morning all, and a warm welcome to our coverage of the Queen's Baton Relay launch at Buckingham Palace.

     
  2.  
    1026:

    The ceremony at Buckingham Palace is the start of the baton's journey around the 70 nations and territories which will take part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year

     
  3.  
    1028:

    The Queen will place her message to the Commonwealth inside the baton. The message will not be read until the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at Celtic Park in Glasgow's east end on 23 July next year.

     
  4.  
    1034:

    Sir Chris Hoy and Allan Wells will take part in the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, as will violinist Nicola Benedetti.

     
  5.  
    1035:

    There will be 70 flagbearers will also be at the event. They have been chosen by Unicef and will each represent the nations and territories that make up the Commonwealth.

     
  6.  
    1036:

    You can follow the events in London today on a special Queen's Baton Relay programme on BBC One, from 10:45, and, of course, on the BBC website.

     
  7.  

    @BBCMarkBeaumont The Mall is now closed, barriers up, crowds gathering, news cameras & lights focused - all set for Queen's Baton Relay Launch 10.45 @BBCOne

     
  8.  
    Baton Relay

    @Glasgow2014 5 minutes to go! Sir @chrishoy and the batonbearers are ready to go! #BatonRelay pic.twitter.com/PE3ey8rhgF

     
  9.  
    1039:

    The baton itself is a thing of beauty. Designed by Glasgow firm 4c design, it has a lattice design, made from layers of titanium, which means the sealed scroll within it is always visible. The brief for the baton was that is should weigh no more than 2kg and must be able to withstand all sorts of weather extremities on its 10-month journey.

     
  10.  
    1043:

    Mark Beaumont will be following the journey of the Queen's Baton Relay. You can follow him on his BBC blog

     
  11.  
    1043:

    Anyone familiar with the Isle of Cumbrae will think of day trips to Millport and marvellous ice cream. Ah, but there's more... The baton's elm-wood handle was sourced from the grounds of Garrison House on the island. That could win you a pub quiz one day.

     
  12.  
    1047:

    The Queen's Baton Relay will journey around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. Here is the route it will take.

     
  13.  

    @UNICEF_uk 70 young people carry a flag for each commonwealth country and represent the one billion young people that ... https://vine.co/v/hX91L0ExgQr

     
  14.  
    1050:

    Glasgow's bid to host the 2014 Games was strengthened by the availability of suitable sporting venues. However, since the announcement in November 2007 that the Games were coming to Scotland, Glaswegians have witnessed quite a transformation in parts of the city, most notably close to Celtic Park, which will host the opening ceremony next summer, where the new velodrome and arena have been constructed.

     
  15.  
    1051:

    You will be able to follow Mark Beaumont around the Commonwealth on his blog, or on Twitter @BBCMarkBeaumont and Facebook

     
  16.  
    1052:
  17.  
    1053:

    On the BBC One programme about the baton relay, royal historian Robert Lacey was asked about the importance of the Commonwealth Games to the Queen. He said: "They are tremendously important for her personally. It (the Queen's Baton Relay) is a reminder of how important this British family of nations is."

     
  18.  

    @BritishMonarchy Over 288 days the #BatonRelay will visit 70 nations and territories, cover 190,000 km and involve 1/3 of the world's population

     
  19.  
    1100:

    Sir Chris Hoy, a Commonwealth Games ambassador, is looking resplendent in his kilt for his big moment in the baton's procession.

     
  20.  
    1101:

    Sir Chris Hoy will be one of the first people to take a turn at holding the baton. He told BBC: "It's a huge honour. I'm very excited. I'm looking forward to it. The Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur was the start of my career really. It was the spark that got it all going."

     
  21.  
    1104:

    There's a Clyde theme running through the baton. Now you know that the wood on the baton's handle is from Cumbrae, the granite at the top is from Ailsa Craig, an island further south-west.

     
  22.  
    1105:

    Twenty-five of the flagbearers are from Glasgow's Bannerman High School. One of them is Callum Drummond, 17, from Garrowhill, who will be carrying the flag for Nauru. He is a keen runner and is the former Scottish under-16 800m champion. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Gillian Paulley from Mount Vernon will be carrying the flag for Kiribati.

     
  23.  
    1107:
    Sir Chris Hoy is taking the empty baton to the Queen, who will place her message to the Commonwealth inside Sir Chris Hoy is taking the empty baton to the Queen, who will place her message to the Commonwealth inside
     
  24.  
    1108:

    Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti is wowing the guests at the palace with a beautiful performance of Robert Burns' "My love is like a red, red rose" on her Stradivarius.

     
  25.  
    1109:
    Nicola Benedetti

    Nicola Benedetti, from Ayrshire, is one of the world's most celebrated violinists. Nicola, of course, came into the spotlight when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004 aged 16.

     
  26.  
    1110:
    Chirs Hoy

    Sir Chris Hoy won six gold medals at the Olympics, making him the most successful British athlete in Olympic history. He also won two Commonwealth golds at the Manchester Games in 2002 and four years later in Melbourne. Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, named in his honour, will host cycling events at the Glasgow Games.

     
  27.  
    1110:

    The Band of the Scots Guards send a skirl of the pipes into the London skies as they follow Sir Chris Hoy who makes along The Mall. What a sight!

     
  28.  
    1112:

    Ms Benedetti's stunning playing has left us sobbing into our keyboards. We're all singing: "And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry." They don't write them like that any longer...

     
  29.  
    1113:

    Jewellers from the Glasgow School of Art were involved in the creation of the baton. They worked on the gemstones at the top of the baton, which were sourced from granite from Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde. These stones will be given to every nation and territory the baton visits.

     
  30.  
    1113:

    With his broad frame and broader smile, Sir Chris Hoy looks every inch the ambassador as he waves to the crowds on his return through the gates of the Palace.

     
  31.  
    Pipe band

    @Batonrelay2014 ....and we're off!! #BatonRelay pic.twitter.com/da9Dw24wta

     
  32.  
    1114:

    All 70 flagbearers were selected by Unicef. They are aged between 16 and 25 and were chosen from a network of schools, universities and supporters in Glasgow and London.

     
  33.  
    1115:
    Sir Chris Hoy

    Sir Chris Hoy: "It brings it home how soon these Games are going to be arriving. It is going to touch all the nations it visits. The athletes are already training hard but this makes the public aware of the Games next year. So many positives are going to come out of these Games. Glasgow is known for being friendly and these Games are known as 'the friendly Games', so it's the perfect partnership."

     
  34.  
    1119:

    The guests at Buckingham Palace are awaiting the Queen's arrival...

     
  35.  
    1121:
    Queen arrives

    The Queen and Prince Philip walk on to the stage, with the flags of the 70 Commonwealth nations and territories forming a colourful backdrop.

     
  36.  
    1122:

    Lord Smith, chair of Glasgow 2014, addresses the invited guests: "The baton is a tangible object. Thousands of people will carry it and it will bring the Commonwealth alive. This is a historic moment for Glasgow 2014. We look forward to following the Baton Relay as it makes its journey."

     
  37.  
    1125:

    Prince Imran Tunku, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation: "We share history, values and goals, while recognising and appreciating our diversity. The Queen's Baton Relay brings the Commonwealth to life for all the world to see."

     
  38.  
    1125:

    The Queen passes the baton to Allan Wells, the former Scottish sprinter.

     
  39.  
    1126:

    Allan Wells was the winner of 100m final at the Moscow Olympics. He also won six Commonwealth medals, including four golds - the 200m and 4x100m relay at the 1978 Games in Edmonton, Canada, and the 100m and 200m titles at the 1982 Games in Brisbane, Australia. He is Scotland's most successful Commonwealth athlete.

     
  40.  
    1126:

    The joint first baton-bearer with Allan Wells is Monica Dzonzi, a Unicef Ambassador from Malawi and a former child labourer. She never gave up hope of attaining an education and funded her way through school. She now teaches young people IT skills.

     
  41.  
    1127:

    Daniel Purvis, the gymnast who acquired an army of fans for his performances at the 2012 Olympics in London, takes the baton from Scottish swimmer Caitlin McLatchey.

     
  42.  
    1128:

    Caitlin McLatchey is a Scottish swimmer who won two golds at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

     
  43.  
    The Queen hand over her message to be placed inside the baton The Queen hand over her message to be placed inside the baton
     
  44.  
    1129:

    Daniel Purvis finished fourth in the floor event at the gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp last week. He won Olympic bronze last year with Lewis Smith, Sam Oldham, Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock in the gymnastics artistic team.

     
  45.  
    1129:

    Glasgow gymnast Cara Kennedy is next to take the baton and she walks a short distance before passing it in to the grasp of Morgan McKinnon, a Scottish triple jumper.

     
  46.  
    1129:

    Next to enjoy the honour of holding the exquisite baton is Glasgow swimmer Ruairi Kirkwood.

     
  47.  
    1131:

    Cara Kennedy, Morgan McKinnon and Ruairi Kirkwood are all Glasgow School of Sport pupils. Morgan is the current Scottish Schools Triple Jump champion, while Ruairi has been selected to represent Scotland at the UK school games in September.

     
  48.  
    The Queen's Baton Relay begins The Queen's Baton Relay begins
     
  49.  
    1131:

    Izzy Conway, who is representing the 15,000 Games volunteers, the so-called "Clydesiders, looks delighted as she takes the baton. She grew up in the area that will host the opening ceremony at Celtic Park next year.

     
  50.  
    1132:

    Strongman Gregor Edmunds and Aamir Meymood, the schoolboy who designed the Games tartan, carry the baton jointly. It's in safe hands.

     
  51.  
    Izzy Conway is the first of the Commonwealth Games Clydesider volunteers Izzy Conway is the first of the Commonwealth Games Clydesider volunteers
     
  52.  
    1134:

    Aamir Meymood, 13, designed the Glasgow 2014 tartan. The Shawlands Academy pupil is joined by Scottish strongman Gregor Edmunds.

     
  53.  
    1135:
  54.  
    1135:

    Mark Beaumont: "The Queen's Baton Relay will touch the life of many around the world."

     
  55.  

    @UNICEF_uk An impressive crowd as the baton heads down The Mall #batonrelay #cwg https://vine.co/v/hX9xeF5njgd

     
  56.  
    Aamir Meymood, 13, designed the Glasgow 2014 tartan. The Shawlands Academy pupil is joined by Scottish strongman Gregor Edmunds. Aamir Meymood, 13, designed the Glasgow 2014 tartan. The Shawlands Academy pupil is joined by Scottish strongman Gregor Edmunds.
     
  57.  
    1136:

    Wey-hey, our first glimpse of the day of Clyde, the Commonwealth Games official mascot! Clyde was designed by 13-year-old Beth Gilmour, a promising swimmer from Cumbernauld.

     
  58.  
    1137:

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond: "It really feels like the Games are so close now; the excitement is building."

     
  59.  
    Clyde the THistle

    Beth Gilmour won a UK-wide competition on Blue Peter to design the official mascot of Glasgow 2014. The Cumbernauld teenager's creation - Clyde the Thistle - was unveiled at BBC Scotland's headquarters in Glasgow.

     
  60.  
    1138:

    Alex Salmond: "We have some expertise in our corner, with Sir Chris Hoy. The huge home support counts for an enormous amount, but this is about 70 countries across the Commonwealth. All of them will be very welcome in Scotland."

     
  61.  
    1140:

    The Pipes and Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards will now lead the invited guests up the Mall to an official function at Marlborough House.

     
  62.  
    1141:

    BBC Commonwealth Games reporter Chris McLaughlin at Celtic Park: "Next July this place will be absolutely rocking. It lends itself to a fabulous atmosphere."

     
  63.  
    1146:
    Glasgow 2014 baton The baton contains the Queen's message to the Commonwealth

    The baton relay has officially started. Unlike the Olympic torch it will travel to all countries taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year. The 288-day relay will visit 70 nations and territories before arriving back in Scotland.

     
  64.  
    1146:

    Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games. Demand for tickets far outstripped the available places at the venues. There were 2.3m applications for the 1m tickets.

     
  65.  
    1146:

    Swimming and track cycling were two of the events in greatest demand. By the way, does anyone have a spare ticket for the 200m final, where Usain Bolt might make a fleeting appearance?

     
  66.  
    1147:

    As we all look forward to the Queen's Baton Relay and the Commonwealth Games, find out all you need to know about the Baton and the sporting spectacle

     
  67.  
    1147:

    Almost all of the Games events will take place in Glasgow, with the shooting competition being hosted in Angus and the diving at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

     
  68.  
    1148:

    At Glasgow 2014, 261 medal events will take place across 11 days of competition from 23 July.

     
  69.  
    1148:

    Allan Wells: "It's fantastic for Glasgow. This is going to be a bigger Games (than Edinburgh 1986). Everybody is behind this. The Scottish public is up for it."

     
  70.  
    1151:

    About 4,500 athletes from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania will take part in Glasgow next summer.

     
  71.  

    @BannermanHigh Well done to all the young people at Buckingham Palace, you did Glasgow proud! @GlasgowCC @Glasgow2014 #BatonRelay pic.twitter.com/V7WYBgPSfH

     
  72.  
    1152:
    Clyde with Beth Gilmour

    Young Beth Gilmour says she is delighted at the opportunities that have come her way since winning the Blue Peter competition to design the mascot, Clyde, the only cuddly thistle in Scotland.

     
  73.  
    1154:
  74.  
    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg were at the ceremony to launch the baton Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg were at the ceremony to launch the baton
     
  75.  
    1157:

    Volunteering ambassador Izzy Conway: "The area around Celtic Park is totally transformed but the heart, around Parkhead, is still there."

     
  76.  
    1159:

    Glaswegian Julie McElroy, who has Cerebral Palsy, tells BBC One viewers that the 2014 Games will have a fully integrated para-sports schedule, including swimming, powerlifting, athletics, track cycling and lawn bowls.

     
  77.  
    1204:
    Glasgow aerial

    The baton will be in Glasgow on Thursday. Where the local authority route for its 40-day tour of its home country will be unveiled. It will arrive in Scotland on 14 June after its tour around the rest of the Commonwealth nations and territories.

     
  78.  
    1202:

    Of course, unlike the Olympics, there is no Team GB at Commonwealth Games. The UK nations and territories compete against one another. Who will top the medal table: Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Wales, England or Scotland? OK, maybe it will be Australia or Canada...

     
  79.  

    @Clyde2014 What a brilliant morning! :D So proud to get the chance to hold the baton...it really is heavier than you think! #BatonRelay

     
  80.  
    1211:

    Thanks very much for joining us. Has your interest been piqued by seeing stars such as Allan Wells and Daniel Purvis carry the baton? Glasgow will be throbbing with sporting and cultural activity next summer; it should be quite an experience for everyone who visits or lives in the city. Finally, don't forget Mark Beaumont's blog will keep everyone up to date with the baton's progress around the world.

     

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