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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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.