Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Commonwealth Games: Queen's Baton relay arrives in Scotland

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Media captionDaley Thompson hands the baton to Scottish athlete Eilidh Child on Coldstream bridge

The Queen's Baton Relay has arrived in Scotland as it begins a 40-day tour of the host country ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Triple gold medallist Daley Thompson handed the baton to Scottish athlete Eilidh Child on the border at Coldstream bridge at 07:45.

The baton then headed to Edinburgh where it took a ride on a tram and received a 21-gun salute at the castle.

The baton is the Commonwealth's version of the Olympic torch.

It has travelled about 100,000 miles and visited 69 nations and territories since October.

Edinburgh is the first Scottish city to welcome the baton, with more than 100 local baton-bearers carrying it during the day.

Up to 4,000 baton-bearers will take part in the Scottish relay.

The baton contains a message from the Queen, which will be read out at the opening ceremony on 23 July.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Batonbearer Samantha Kinghorn carrying the Queen"s Baton through Coldstream
Image caption David Laing carried the baton through Coldstream
Image caption Scottish hockey player Allan Dick boards a tram with the baton at Murrayfield stadium
Image caption The baton reached Shandwick Place via one of Edinburgh's new trams
Image caption The baton was greeted by a 21-gun salute at Edinburgh Castle to mark the Queen's official birthday

The baton's two-week tour of England ended when it was passed from Commonwealth Games decathlon triple gold medallist Daley Thompson to Scottish hurdler Eilidh Child, who won a silver medal in Delhi in 2010.

The handover was part of a ceremony on the bridge over the river Tweed at Coldstream in the Scottish Borders.

The moment was marked by BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton performing "Here's to our Common Wealth", a specially-commissioned song for the Queen's Baton Relay.

Baton-bearers in Coldstream included 91-year-old ice-skating teacher Bill Watt, who has been coaching children since 1964.

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Media captionThe Queen's baton received a 21-gun salute at Edinburgh castle

Following the early morning celebrations in the town, the baton travelled to Edinburgh, where it officially started its 40-day tour of Scotland.

Edinburgh is the only city in the world to welcome Commonwealth Games events for a third time.

It hosted the Games in 1970 and 1986 and this year's diving competitions, featuring Olympic medallist Tom Daley, will be held at the Royal Commonwealth pool.

The baton will spend at least a day in each of Scotland's local authority areas.

The first official stop was Heriot-Watt University before the baton moved on to Murrayfield Stadium.

From there the baton boarded a tram to Shandwick Place in the west end of the city centre.

Image caption TV presenter Lorraine Kelly carried the baton on the Royal Mile
Image caption Former Scottish rugby captain Gavin Hastings carried the baton on the Royal Mile
Image copyright PA
Image caption Gavin Hastings and batonbearer Lynne McNicoll with presiding officer Tricia Marwick in the Scottish Parlaiment chamber
Image copyright PA
Image caption First Minister Alex Salmond with Craig Burns, seven, and Marilee Burns, five, at Meadowbank Stadium

It was then greeted by a 21-gun salute at Edinburgh Castle to mark the Queen's official birthday.

The baton was carried down the Royal Mile by baton-bearers including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and rugby legend Gavin Hastings.

It was then taken into the Scottish Parliament and the grounds of Holyrood Palace, where a run involving local children took place.

The next stop was Meadowbank Stadium, the home of the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games.

The baton was carried through Leith, Portobello and Duddingston.

It was also received at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, where diving events at the 2014 Games will be held.

The end of the relay was marked with a concert at the Ross Band Stand.

Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said: "Today marks a very special moment for the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee and for Scotland as a whole as the countdown to our biggest-ever sporting and cultural celebration truly begins.

"Over the next 40 days thousands of people across Scotland can share the building excitement of our moment in history as we all get set to welcome the world to Scotland for what we all aim to be the best Commonwealth Games ever."

The Queen's baton relay route:

  • 14 June: City of Edinburgh
  • 15 June: West Lothian
  • 16 June: Midlothian
  • 17 June: East Lothian
  • 18 June: Scottish Borders
  • 19 June: Dumfries and Galloway
  • 20 June: South Ayrshire
  • 21 June: East Ayrshire
  • 22 June: South Lanarkshire
  • 23 June: North Lanarkshire
  • 24 June: Falkirk
  • 25 June: Clackmannanshire
  • 26 June: Fife
  • 27 June: Dundee City
  • 28 June: Angus
  • 29 June: Aberdeenshire
  • 30 June: Aberdeen City
  • 1 July: Shetland Islands
  • 2 and 3 July: Moray
  • 4 and 5 July: Perth & Kinross
  • 6 and 7 July: Stirling
  • 8 July: Eilean Siar
  • 10 July: Orkney Islands
  • 11 and 12 July: Highland
  • 13 July: Argyll and Bute
  • 14 July: Inverclyde
  • 15 July: North Ayrshire
  • 16 July: East Renfrewshire
  • 17 July: Renfrewshire
  • 18 July: West Dunbartonshire
  • 19 July: East Dunbartonshire
  • 20 to 23 July: Glasgow City

A comprehensive list of towns the baton will visit each day in Scotland can be found on the Glasgow 2014 website.

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