Queen starts Games baton relay

The Queen has launched the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games baton relay around the globe. She included a hand-written a note hidden in the baton to be read for the first time at the opening ceremony.

Hoy had 'memorable moments' in Commonwealths

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy told ITV News the Commonwealth Games holds "some of the most memorable moments" in his career as the Glasgow 2014 baton started its trip around the world.

The retired cyclist said he wanted to compete in the 2014 Games in front of his home crowd but "eventually the body gives up".

He added: "For me, some of the most memorable moments in my career came at a Commonwealth Games, my first ever individual gold medal came in 2002 in Manchester and I also won a gold medal in Melbourne in 2006 and these were real highlights of my career."

Pictures: Queen starts baton's journey around Commonwealth

Queen starts baton's journey around Commonwealth

The Queen has placed her private message to athletes inside the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games baton, which is now set for a 120,000 miles trip around the world.

The Queen inserts her message into the Commonwealth Games baton. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Standing in the shadow of Buckingham Palace and with the Duke of Edinburgh by her side the Queen sent her baton on its 248-day journey around 70 nations and territories.

Flags of all the Commonwealth countries are carried from the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

It will travel through Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe - leaving for India tomorrow - before arriving back in Scotland in June next year.

Alan Wells waves as he carries the Commonwealth Games baton. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The monarch placed the unique hand-crafted baton made of titanium, wood and granite into the hands of sprint legend Allan Wells, winner of four Commonwealth Golds and the 100 metre Olympic sprint title at the 1980 Moscow Games.

Read: Queen's message 'at the heart' of baton

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Hoy's 'body made decision' not to compete in Glasgow

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy told ITV News his "body made the decision" not to compete in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Sir Chris Hoy talking to ITV News' Royal Correspondent Tim Ewart. Credit: ITV News

Sir Chris added that he had "mixed feelings" about not taking part but looked forward to enjoying it as a spectator.

Sir Chris Hoy carries the Commonwealth Games baton along The Mall. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Pictures: Sir Chris Hoy carries Commonwealth Games baton to Palace

Hoy carries Commonwealth Games baton to Palace

Sir Chris Hoy has made a triumphant journey to Buckingham Palace carrying the Commonwealth Games baton ahead of the start of the sporting event's global relay.

Sir Chris Hoy carries the Commonwealth Games baton down The Mall. Credit: PA Wire

Britain's most successful Olympian was given the honour of processing the symbol of Glasgow 2014 down The Mall before the Queen launches the baton on its epic trip.

Britain's most successful Olympian was given the honour of processing the symbol of Glasgow 2014 to Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA Wire

The cyclist, who has retired from competitive racing after winning a clutch of Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles, was joined by the Pipes and Drums 1st Battalion Scots Guards and the Pipes and Drums 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Royal Scots Borderers).

Sprinter Allan Wells to start Commonwealth relay

Scottish athlete Allan Wells will start the Commonwealth relay after the queen hands him the ceremonial baton at Buckingham Palace later today, according to Games officials.

Mr Wells took home gold in 100 metres and silver in the 200 metres at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

As the final runner of the Queen's Baton Relay (QBR) at the last Commonwealth Games on Scottish soil in Edinburgh in 1986, the baton and what it symbolises is incredibly special for me.

It is a real honour for me to now be named as the first baton bearer for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

– Allan Wells

The baton will go on to visit every nation and territory of the Commonwealth, travelling through Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Queen's message 'at the heart' of baton

Photos of the baton for next year's Commonwealth Games have been released and a secret message to athletes written by the Queen is "at the heart" of the design.

Baton
The baton has been designed to represent Scotland's natural resources and industrial heritage. Credit: Glasgow 2014

Her majesty's message is inscribed on parchment made by hand in Glasgow, using linen and plant fibre.

It will be lit up from within by LED lights, but remain unreadable until the opening ceremony.

Organisers said the lattice is inspired by Glasgow's "rich industrial and architectural heritage".

The handle is made from elm wood found in the grounds of Garrison House on the Isle of Cumbrae and is a "tribute" to Scotland's natural resources.

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Queen writes message for Commonwealth relay

The Queen has written a message to athletes of the Commonwealth to mark the start of a baton relay around all its nations and territories before the Glasgow 2014 Games.

The note will be placed inside a specially made baton at Buckingham Palace today before it starts a 248-day journey around 70 nations and territories.

Queen
The Queen at her desk in Balmoral signing the note which will be placed inside the torch. Credit: PA

Her majesty wrote the note during her summer stay at Balmoral - but the contents will remain a secret until the Queen reads it aloud at the opening ceremony of the Games at Celtic Park on July 23 next year.

Read more: Gambia quits Commonwealth