The Queen, accompanied by The Earl of Wessex, will launch The Queen’s Baton Relay for Birmingham 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games, from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 7th October 2021. The Queen and The Earl of Wessex are Patron and Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation respectively.
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will join a unique ceremony to launch the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, alongside representatives from the Commonwealth Games Federation and grassroots sports organisations in the West Midlands, as well as athletes who will be competing in the Games next year.
The Baton will arrive at Buckingham Palace ahead of The Queen and The Earl of Wessex, having travelled down the Mall accompanied by a Tri-Service military band and the Birmingham 2022 ‘Hometown Heroes’ – a group of volunteers, coaches and managers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support grassroots sports in the West Midlands.
On arrival in the forecourt, The Queen and The Earl of Wessex will meet the design team behind this year’s Queen’s Baton, and hear about their creative process. For the first time, the Baton, which has been designed in a collaboration between West Midlands businesses, includes a 360 degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting. In recognition of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service to the nation and the Commonwealth in Her Platinum Jubilee year, the Baton also includes a Platinum strand.
In front of the assembled guests, The Queen, accompanied by The Earl on the dais, will place Her Majesty’s message for the Commonwealth Games into the Baton, which will then be automatically sealed. The Queen’s message will be read out in full at next year’s Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony on 28 July 2022.
The Queen will then present the Baton to double Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, the first Batonbearer, marking the official start of the 16th Queen’s Baton Relay. At the Centre Gate of Buckingham Palace, the Baton will then be passed to Team England squash player Declan James and Olympic Gold medal winning Team Wales boxer Lauren Price to be taken around the Queen Victoria Memorial, before continuing down the Mall, passing on to further Batonbearers. Other Batonbearers include athletes from Team England, para swimmer Alice Tai MBE and artistic gymnast Alice Kinsella, Team Scotland hockey player Sarah Robertson, and Team Northern Ireland cyclist Mark Downey.
Once the Baton is safely on its way, the ceremony will close with a performance from Birmingham-based acapella group Black Voices. The ceremony will also include a live-streamed performance from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and an original poem read by Birmingham’s Poet Laureate for 2020-2022, Casey Bailey.
The Queen’s Baton Relay will span 294 days, and the Baton will visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.