Upon their arrival on Wednesday at Glasgow Central Station, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh headed to the official opening of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Her Majesty and Prince Philip were joined by Charles and Camilla at a reception to mark the opening of the Games. Also attending were the Earl of Wessex, who is vice patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and The Countess of Wessex. The Royal party met and spoke with invited heads of state and government as well as other dignitaries.
After the reception The Queen formally launched the Games at the official opening ceremony at Celtic Park, being received by cheering crowds. It is estimated that 40,000 spectators were in attendance on Wednesday, joining the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories competing.
The Queen’s Baton Relay finished at the event, as the final runner handed the baton back to Her Majesty, and her message to the athletes was read aloud. The Baton is an iconic part of the Commonwealth Games, just as the Torch is to the Olympics. The Baton held Her Majesty’s handwritten message for the Commonwealth, and for 288 days travelled to each of the 71 nations and territories competing in the Games.
Starting in the evening, the event featured Scottish singer Rod Stewart, the former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle, and songwriter Amy McDonald.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will be attending the Commonwealth Games on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th July, as will Prince William and Kate (the Earl and Countess of Strathearn) and Prince Harry on 28th and 29th July. The Princess Royal is also due to make an appearance on Saturday 26th July.
The Earl of Wessex, Vice Patron, The Commonwealth Games Federation, and The Countess of Wessex will attend events throughout the two weeks of the Games. The Earl will close the Commonwealth Games on 3 August.
The Games began in 1930 and were then known as The British Empire Games. Since 1950, the Games have occurred every four years. The name change from British Empire to Commonwealth Games took place in 1954; Glasgow is the host of the 20th Commonwealth Games, with the last Games being held in India in 2010.