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A Tjapukai aboriginal dancer carries the Queen's Baton through Kuranda rainforest, Australia
The arrival of the Queen's Baton in Bangladesh
The Queen's Baton above the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Queen's Baton arrives in Nauru
The Queen's Baton Relay in Singapore
First started nearly 60 years ago at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, the Queen’s Baton Relay brings a part of the Games to the four corners of the globe and to more than 2 billion people. It arrived in Scotland on 14 June for its final leg, a 40 day countdown, visiting every region of the country.
The baton in Scotland
Over 4,000 batonbearers will carry the baton through Scotland over the course of 40 days. All in all, people in 400 cities, towns and villages in the four corners of the country will witness the relay pass through their streets as it winds its way through stunning landscapes and past world-famous landmarks.
The baton arrives from England on 14 June when it will be taken to Edinburgh for the first leg of the domestic route. It will then snake its way around Scotland, taking in the extremities of the country in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides along the way.
In total, it will have travelled for 288 days by the time it reaches its final destination; the streets of Glasgow and the electric Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park where the Queen will read her message to the stadium and the world.
Its epic 190,000 km journey to Glasgow began on 9 October last year at the gates of Buckingham Palace when it set off around the world bearing a message from the Queen to the Commonwealth. Cheered on by people in 70 nations and territories, it has already visited the smallest country in the world, Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean, and will pass through the world’s second largest, Canada.
The Baton first visited India, the previous host of the Games in 2010. It then travelled across Oceania, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and will soon arrive in North America before travelling back in the UK for the final leg of its spectacular journey.
It has so far travelled in a variety of ways, over land, air and sea. Past relays have featured a submarine in the Maldives, a vintage sidecar in Singapore and a scuba diver visiting an underwater post office in Vanuatu.
The baton design
Designed by William Mitchell at Glasgow-based 4C Design Ltd, the Queen’s Relay Baton was crafted in Scotland from titanium, elm wood and granite using state of the art technology and traditional skills.
The titanium lattice frame at the top of the baton was inspired both by Glasgow’s long and proud industrial heritage as well as the sublime architectural designs of one of Glasgow’s most famous sons, George Rennie Mackintosh.
The unique lattice design actually allows the Queen’s message inside to be seen, which will be lit up by LED lights. The message itself is not visible and will not be heard until the Baton reaches its destination at the Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park.
One of the most closely-guarded secrets of the Games so far, the recently unveiled completed Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games baton will be handled by thousands of batonbearers from around the world and must endure a variety of extreme weather conditions.
As such, the handle of the baton was made from light and durable elm wood, which was sourced from the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde. In homage to Glasgow’s illustrious history of shipbuilding, a boat-building technique called bird-mouthing was employed by designers to make it, one that was traditionally used to make ships' masts.
The baton is crowned by detachable granite ‘gemstones’ which will be gifted to each nation and territory that it visits. Each one was fashioned by Kays of Scotland, world-famous Curling stone manufacturers, and jewellers at the Glasgow School of Art from granite sourced from Ailsa Craig, a haunting island in the Firth of Clyde.