The Queen proudly opened the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with Prince Edward this morning.
The Queen’s Baton Relay began at the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and then began its 90,000-mile international journey to all 72 countries and territories.
Her Majesty placed her message inside a “smart” baton, which was automatically sealed prior to the 294-day journey.
She then handed it over to Paralympic gold medalist Kadina Cox, who would take it on the first leg of her journey.
The monarch, looking extremely dashing in an autumn orange coat and matching hat, smiled at Buckingham Palace with her youngest son, the Earl of Wessex.
The launch is the 95-year-old’s first major royal engagement from her official London residence since the Covid pandemic began.
This year’s baton is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to protect the Queen’s message until it is read at the Games opening ceremony in Birmingham on July 28, 2022.
The Queen is the patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation and Prince Edward, the institution’s deputy patron, also attended the ceremony.
They met with the West Midlands design team behind the revolutionary emblem, which they previously described as “the first true smart baton”.
It is equipped with a 360-degree camera to capture its wide travel, a sensor that records and displays the heartbeats of 7,500 holders.
It also includes GPS tracking, LED lighting and has “lungs” – atmospheric sensors that use laser technology to probe the environmental conditions of any given place.
The baton also contains a “brain” that records and transmits imagery and digital information.
A strand of platinum has also been included in the baton to commemorate the Queen’s 70-year reign.
The Royals were warmly welcomed by representatives of the Commonwealth Games Federation, grassroots sports organizations from the West Midlands and athletes competing in next year’s Games.
Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston also participated.