The Queen's Baton Relay is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games. The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.The Queen's Baton Relay is similar to the Olympic Torch Relay.
The Relay was introduced at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Up until, and including, the 1994 Games, the Relay only went through England and the host nation. The Relay for the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first to travel to other nations of the Commonwealth. The 2002 Commonwealth Games Relay covered over 100,000 kilometres and went through 23 nations.
|For the 1990 Commonwealth Games, the baton was a two-piece affair. Each piece went on its own individual relay run in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, only being joined back together in the final week before the Games began.|
|For the 1994 Commonwealth Games, the Baton was fashioned from sterling silver and was engraved with traditional symbols of the creative artists' families and cultures, including a wolf, a raven and an eagle with a frog in its mouth.|
|For the 1998 Commonwealth Games, Malaysia placed their own flavour on the Games, with the Queen's Baton being carried into the stadium on an elephant. It was the first ever baton to travel beyond England and the host nation. The baton was presented to Prince Edward by Malaysia's first ever Commonwealth medal winner Koh Eng Tong, a gold medallist in weightlifting in 1950. The Baton design was inspired by a traditional Malay artifact, the 'Gobek', which is a unique cylindrical areca nut-pounder widely used and displayed in Malay homes. The baton was produced by a local company, Mariwasa Kraftangan Sdn Bhd, using pure silver with gold trimming. It left the Buckingham palace on 9 March 1998.|
|The 2002 Queen's Baton Relay (also known as Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay) was launched on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002, on the historic forecourt at Buckingham Palace. The baton traveled almost 59,000 miles via 23 commonwealth nations and territories over 87 days before opening the games on the 25 July 2002. Cadbury was the presenting partner of the relay and sponsor of the games.
The Baton was designed by a company called IDEO and was constructed of machined aluminium with the handle plated for conductivity. It weighed 1.69 kg, reaches over 710 mm, and is 42.5 mm to 85 mm in diameter. The Queen’s message itself was held in an aluminium capsule inserted into the top of the Baton. On either side of the Baton were two sterling silver coins, designed by Mappin and Webb, which celebrated the City of Manchester as host of the XVII Commonwealth Games.
|The 2006 Queen's Baton Relay was the world's longest, most inclusive relay, travelling more than 180,000 kilometres and visiting all 71 nations that then sent teams to the Commonwealth Games[a] in one year and a day. The Queen's Baton Relay started, as it traditionally does, at Buckingham Palace and ended in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It carried a message from the Queen to the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Fremantle Dockers Captain Matthew Pavlich carried the baton through Fremantle, he received the baton from community nominee and local businessman Peter Taliangis.
The baton contained 71 lights on the front, representing the 71 member nations of the Commonwealth Games Federation. A video camera built into the front of the baton recorded continuously as the baton travelled, and a GPS tracker was fitted, so that the baton's location could be viewed live on the Commonwealth Games Website. The front face of the baton contained the detachable Queen's Message Button. The Button is a digital storage device, onto which the Queen's Message to the Athletes of the XVIII Commonwealth Games was encoded.
The baton was designed by Michael Foley, a graduate of the National Institute of Design. Made from aluminium twisted into a helix, it was coated with soils from the various regions of India, and held the Queen's message (printed on an 18 carat gold leaf, representing gold's qualities and symbolism of power in India) within a jeweled box. The baton also incorporated a video camera and microphone, LED lighting (which set its color scheme to match the flag of the nation it was travelling through), and GPS tracking.
The product design consultancy awarded the contract to the design of the 2014 Queen's Baton is a local Glasgow company called 4c Design. 4c Design wanted the 2014 baton to be true to the original intentions of the first relay and so wanted to focus the design around the Queen's handwritten message. Also rather than using cutting edge electronics, they choose to focus on cutting edge manufacturing. This all culminated in the Queen's message being internally illuminated to hint at the secret within, then surrounded by a titanium lattice framework that was grown using the latest additive manufacturing technology. At the top is a puzzle mechanism that dispenses granite gemstones to each of the Commonwealth nations and territories the baton visits, inviting them to join Glasgow at the Games. The puzzle mechanism also has a second function of keeping the message safely locked away until the opening ceremony, where the second stage of the puzzle will be unveiled. The handle of the Queen's Baton is made of Elm wood which came from the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland. The Elm tree was felled by a local man called David Stevenson in the grounds of the Garrison House and the baton itself is crafted using an old boat building technique called bird mouthing.
The baton for the Gold Coast 2018 was designed by Brisbane-based company Designworks to reflect the local culture and life of Queensland. Designed for each Games by the host nation, the 2018 Queen’s Baton has been made using macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic, sourced from Gold Coast waterways, and inspired by the region’s vibrant spirit and indigenous heritage.
|Cardiff 1958||Ken Jones|
|Perth 1962||Phil Afford|
|Kingston 1966||Keith Gardner, Paul Foreman, Ernle Haisley, Laurie Khan, Mel Spence|
|Edinburgh 1970||Eileen Coughlan|
|Christchurch 1974||Sylvia Potts|
|Edmonton 1978||Diane Jones-Konihowski|
|Brisbane 1982||Raelene Boyle|
|Edinburgh 1986||Allan Wells|
|Auckland 1990||Peter Snell|
|Victoria 1994||Myriam Bédard|
|Kuala Lumpur 1998||Koh Eng Tong|
|Manchester 2002||David Beckham and Kirsty Howard|
|Melbourne 2006||John Landy|
|Delhi 2010||Sushil Kumar|
|Glasgow 2014||Sir Chris Hoy|
|Gold Coast 2018||Sally Pearson|