On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II held the first major event at Buckingham Palace since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic a year and a half ago, as she conducted the launch of the baton relay for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, a central city in England.
Kadeena Cox, a gold medallist in British Paralympic, had the honour of receiving the baton from the queen on the first leg of its 145,000-kilometre journey. Kadeena Cox attended the program fresh from winning two another events in Tokyo, Japan.
The relay will travel through 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth in 294 days before returning to Birmingham on July 28, for the opening ceremony. The baton will stop first on the east Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus on Oct. 9 before departing for Malta, the relay’s next destination.
The 95-year-old monarch was joined by Prince Edward, her youngest son who is the vice patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth of Nations Secretary-General and athletes who were gearing up for the competition were present at the ceremony.
In recognition of the monarch’s 70-year reign, a strand of platinum had been incorporated into the baton, which will also carry a message from the Queen which will be read out loud at the opening ceremony.