Birmingham 2022 has officially launched its 16th Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas.
The 95-year-old monarch completed the first handover in the 269-day global baton relay for next year’s competition in Birmingham at Buckingham Palace to start the countdown on 7 October 2021.
At the special event at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty The Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton, signifying the start.
Outside the large royal gates, stood The Queen in a bright orange ensemble waiting patiently for the event to take place. This was the first time that she had made an appearance since the pandemic began.
The Queen was joined by her youngest son, Prince Edward, who stood just behind her.
In complete silence, the gold medal-winning Paralympian, Kadeena Cox made her way up the steps to receive the big Baton with both arms.
All that you could hear was the thundering clicks of cameras from the press surrounding them.
After a few seconds of handover chatter, Cox made her way back down the steps with the big Baton, when suddenly the orchestra came to life.
Overall the event will see 7,500 Baton bearers from across the world entrusted with the task of carrying the Baton through their community.
However, everyone has been talking about this very sophisticated Baton that has been made from accessible metals of copper, aluminium and brass.
The shape of the Baton moves away from the traditional shape seen in previous editions of The Queen’s Baton. With Birmingham 2022 making history by being the first major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men.
This strength and fortitude of women across the Commonwealth is celebrated throughout the design of the Baton.
The Baton has been specially created by designers and technologists from the West Midlands in a unique collaboration that fuses science, technology, engineering and art.
Fitted with a 360-degree camera, the baton has ‘eyes’, and a ‘brain’ which record and transmit imagery and digital information, allowing stories from Commonwealth communities to be told.
The Baton also has ‘lungs’, consisting of atmospheric sensors with laser technology that analyses the environmental conditions wherever it is in the world.
According to Birmingham, it features LED lighting and a heartrate sensor that display the heartbeats of Batonbearers. The lighting also changes when two people grip the baton during the handover.
The Queen’s Baton Pass Over Through The Years
The Queen’s Baton relay began in Wales in 1958 when Cardiff hosted the Commonwealth Games.
Back then the first Baton was decorated in the middle with an enamelled dragon in red surrounded by two leeks and a crown, also engraved decoration of daffodils and leeks forming a chain motif.
From that day on it has always stood for the games to come.
Today, with our growing technology, it has managed to incorporate a very sophisticated ‘brain’ within to record every human touch along the way.
It is now a Games tradition and celebrates the Commonwealth’s diversity whilst inspiring community pride and highlighting sport’s ability to join people of all races, genders and ages.