Her Majesty The Queen launched the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay at Buckingham Palace today at a public ceremony featuring Scotland’s greatest-ever Commonwealth and Olympic athletes, Allan Wells MBE and Sir Chris Hoy MBE.
The ceremony was attended by Commonwealth and Games dignitaries and broadcast live on BBC One. Harper Macleod Chief Executive Martin Darroch was among the gathering, popping up momentarily on the TV coverage.
Sprint legend Allan Wells, winner of two Commonwealth Golds and the 100m Olympic sprint title at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, was the first athlete to receive the Baton from The Queen to start it on its historic journey round the nations and territories of the Commonwealth, calling the 4,500 athletes to Glasgow for the Games.
The event also involved honorary batonbearers including successful and up-and-coming Scottish athletes and young people who have played a key role in the Glasgow 2014 story.
Sir Chris Hoy, six-time Gold Olympian, double Commonwealth Gold medallist, and UNICEF UK Ambassador, was the Baton’s special escort as it made the processional journey down the Mall, accompanied by pipers to the ceremony itself.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is the world’s most engaging relay, a unique tradition of the Games that unites the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace. The Queen’s Baton Relay is a unique and dynamic opportunity for Glasgow and Scotland to connect with all of nations and territories of the Commonwealth, sharing the excitement and opportunities of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games as well as our culture, creativity and enterprise.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Glasgow 2014 Chairman, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is a great tradition of the Commonwealth Games and a wonderful opportunity for Glasgow and Scotland to share our culture and heritage with the citizens of the Commonwealth. The launch event at BuckinghamPalace marks a real milestone moment for Glasgow 2014 as the QBR builds momentum towards Glasgow and Scotland’s moment on the global stage. The QBR has the power to create memorable moments none more so than seeing the UK’s greatest Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth athlete Allan Wells taking part in the ceremony which will see the baton off on its epic journey.”