The Queen has written a letter to the Commonwealth which won’t be read until next year.
The note was placed inside The Queen’s Baton as it began its journey around the world ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
Her Majesty was seen in a special video signing her name on the letter which will be shared with the Commonwealth as the Games get under way in July next year.
Later, she was joined by the Earl of Wessex at Buckingham Palace to see the baton off on its journey across 90,000 miles.
The Queen’s Baton was brought to the forecourt of the Palace via Horseguards Parade and The Mall by the 2022 Birmingham Hometown Heroes, who all work to promote grassroots sport in the West Midlands where the Games will take place next year.
Both The Queen and the Earl of Wessex were shown the baton which is made from copper, aluminium and steel and which features a streak of platinum on it to mark the Jubilee of 2022. The Queen’s message was placed inside the baton which was then locked, ensuring the Monarch’s words remain secret until next year.
The first baton bearer of the epic relay, which will take 294 days, was British Paralympic star, Kadeena Cox. The four times gold medallist was presented with the baton by The Queen and carried it on the first stage of a journey that will take it across 72 Commonwealth territories and nations before its arrival in Birmingham for the Games. Its first top will be Cyprus, followed by Malta.
The Queen is Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation while the Earl of Wessex is its Vice-Patron. It was Prince Edward who signalled the initial countdown to Birmingham 2022 when he closed the last Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. Then, he told athletes ”every four years these Games bring the spirit of our Commonwealth alive” before asking them to gather in Birmingham for the XXII Games.
The Commonwealth Games start on July 28th 2022 and run until August 8th 2022.