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The Queen's Baton Relay in Commonwealth Games 2010

Updated on September 26, 2015

History of the Queen's Baton Relay in Commonwealth Games

The Queen's Baton Relay is one of the greatest traditions in the Commonwealth Games since the time of its inception in 1958. It bears the same honour in the Commonwealth Games as the torch in the Olympic Games.

The first Baton was made in 1958 when the Games event was held in Cardiff, Wales. Commonwealth Games, a mega sporting event is celebrated every four years in one of the Commonwealth nations and the Queen's Baton Relay is an integral part of the Games, announcing the beginning of the celebration.

In each Games, the host country designs a unique Baton and the relay starts from the Buckingham Palace, carrying the Queen's message for the athletes. The Baton bearing the Queen's message crosses the Commonwealth nations and finally reaches the host nation on the day of Opening Ceremony of the Games. There the greetings message is formally read out by the Queen (or her representative) to the participating athletes and visitors and that point marks the official start of the competitions.

The Queen's Baton 2010
The Queen's Baton 2010
A close-up of the baton
A close-up of the baton

Design of the Queen's Baton in CWG 2010

Each country who gets the opportunity to host the Commonwealth Games takes immense pride in designing the Baton in a unique manner, in order to showcase the nation's culture, traditional values and vision.

The Queen's Baton of the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010 is a masterpiece of craft reflecting the Indian culture and growth. It is a delicate amalgamation of aesthetics and technology. The Baton was designed by Michael Foley of Foley Design along with Titan Industries and Bharat Electronics.

The Baton is made out of a triangular piece of aluminium which is twisted in the shape of a helix. The baton is made from environment-friendly lead free material and is made sturdy enough to withstand the rough weather.

The baton is 664 mm long, 34 mm wide at the base and 86 mm wide at the top and weighs 1,900 grams. The surface of the baton is ergonomically contoured to ensure ease of use in its 340-day long journey.

Channels are made on the surface of the baton which are coated with coloured soils collected from different parts of India. The different types of soil are layered around the aluminium casing like ribbons. The diverse hues of different types of soils including white sands, deep red soils, warm yellow soils and dark brown soils give the baton an unique texture and style.

The creative designing of the baton highlights the geographical and cultural diversity of India and conveys its endeavour towards becoming a harmonious and progressive nation of the world.

The Queen's message is engraved on a 18-carat miniature gold leaf, symbolic of the Indian palm leaf "patras" using laser technology. The laser-engraved message is housed in a jewel encrusted box on the top, which is covered with a polycarbonate cap. The rear and the bottom of the baton is gold plated with milled aluminium.

The design and the manufacture took more than two weeks of relentless work in the factory.

The mascot "Shera" bearing the Queen's Baton
The mascot "Shera" bearing the Queen's Baton

Technological features in the Queen's Baton 2010

The biggest challenge of designing the baton was to come up with a perfect casing to house all the embedded technological features. The main technological features are:

  • Has an in-built camera which sends images and sounds to the Games website
  • Has Global Positioning System (GPS) to track the location of the baton throughout the journey
  • Embedded Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which will change into the colours of the flag of the country through the baton is passing
  • People from all over can send SMSes congratulating or encouraging the baton bearers through the relay; the messages can be seen when the baton is docked on its special stands or from the Commonwealth Games website

The right balance of handcrafted aesthetic design and incorporation of technology have led to the exclusive styling of the Queen's Baton for CWG 2010.

Queen Elizabeth II handing over the baton to Indian President Pratibha Patil
Queen Elizabeth II handing over the baton to Indian President Pratibha Patil
The gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra is the first baton bearer
The gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra is the first baton bearer

The Journey of the Queen's Baton for CWG 2010

The journey of Delhi 2010 Queen's Baton commenced on 29th October 2009 from the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace, London. The baton was handed over by the Queen Elizabeth II to the Indian President, Mrs. Pratibha Patil and the first baton bearer was the gold medalist Indian shooter, Abhinav Bindra.

The baton have travelled through all the 71 Commonwealth nations and entered India on 25th June through the Wagah border between India and Pakistan, exactly 100 days before the Opening Ceremony. At present the baton is passing through Chandigarh and will head for Himachal Pradesh on 4th July.

The baton will cross through all the 28 state capitals and 7 union territories of India and finally reach Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi on 3rd October, for the grand Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010.

2010 Queen's baton relay is the longest in the history, travelling 71 countries, covering 1,90,000 km in 340 days. It has travelled through the smallest Commonwealth nation, Malta and the largest Commonwealth nation, Canada. The baton is travelling through all modes of transport including land, air and sea.


Baton bearers in London
Baton bearers in London

Snapshots of the celebrations as the Queen's Baton Delhi 2010 takes its journey

29th October, 2009 (London):

  • Michael Fennel, the President of Commonwealth Games Federation hands over the baton to Queen Elizabeth II, who puts her "message to the athletes" in the jewellery box on top of the baton
  • Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II hands over the baton to Her Excellency, President of India, Pratibha Patil
  • Abhinav Bindra, the first baton bearer along with Lord Sebastian Coe takes three laps of the Queen Victoria Memorial before the baton exchanged hands among many other eminent athletes like Kapil Dev, Sania Mirza, Dame Kelly Holmes, Milkha Singh, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Kumar, Misha Grewal Soni, Monty Panesar, Sue gilroy, Karnam Malleswrari, Dilip Tirkey and Gurbachan Singh Randhawa


At National Botanic Gardens of Wales
At National Botanic Gardens of Wales

11th Nov, 2009 (Wales):

  • The XIXth Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi had committed to spread the message of environment conservation through its vision of planning and staging the first ever "Green Commonwealth Games". In order to reiterate that, the Queen's Baton visited school children in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Carmarthen

At Malta
At Malta
At Tanzania
At Tanzania
At Namibia (Walvis Bay)
At Namibia (Walvis Bay)

8th December, 2009 (Valletta, Malta):

  • Queen's Baton Delhi visited the smallest Commonwealth nation and had completed its Europeon tour, also celebrated the "300 days to go for Commonwealth Games 2010

29th December, 2009 (Tanzania):

  • Queen's Baton receives a colourful welcome in Tanzania as the dancers perform to celebrate the entry of Queen's Baton in their country

2nd February, 2010 (Namibia):

  • The baton is sailing halfway across the Atlantic Ocean from Namibia to reach the remote island of St Helena. The baton is being carried by legendary Royal Mail Ship St Helena which is a unique vessel. She is one of the only two ocean-going vessels in the world still to carry the venerable title of Royal Mail Ship, held in the past by so many famous British passenger liners.

At Falkland Islands, King Penguins and the baton
At Falkland Islands, King Penguins and the baton
At Canada, legendary sportmen become baton bearers
At Canada, legendary sportmen become baton bearers
Warm welcome at Kiribati
Warm welcome at Kiribati

16th February, 2010 (At Falkland Islands):

  • The Queen's Baton receives a warm welcome at Falkland Islands, a South Atlantic archipelago not only by its native but also by the King Penguins

15th April, 2010 (Toronto, Canada):

  • The Canadian sporting legends all come together and become the baton bearers of the Queen's Baton Delhi 2010 as the baton reaches Toronto

5th May, 2010 (Kiribati):

  • As the Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi arrived in Kiribati, which is set to become the first nation to disappear from the world map because of climate change, the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi reiterated its commitment to being the first Green Games in history and to create greater awareness about environmental issues.

Elephant ride at Sri Lanka
Elephant ride at Sri Lanka
Displayed at army Stadium in Bangladesh
Displayed at army Stadium in Bangladesh
The baton crosses Punjab, India and common men become baton bearers
The baton crosses Punjab, India and common men become baton bearers

20th June, 2010 (Sri Lanka):

  • The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi got a chance to ride on elephant in Colombo. The baton visited Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage about 90 km from Colombo towards Kandy which is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans.

21st June, 2010 (Bangladesh):

  • The baton was displayed in the Army stadium and the welcome ceremony was accompanied by cultural programme

25th June, 2010 (India):

  • Finally the wait is over, the baton enters India through the Wagah Border, historical border between Pakistan and India
  • As the baton passes Punjab, the land of five rivers, common men feel proud to touch and feel the honourable baton

The celebrated journey of the Queen's Baton 2010 Delhi into the various state capitals continues within the host country........


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    • profile image

      ekantika shaha 

      9 years ago

      how many countries are taking part in CWG

      tell the answer


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