Queen's Baton on final stretch of pre-Games journey after tour of Commonwealth

The final part of the Queen's Baton Relay has begun as the baton makes its way towards the United Kingdom.

Vicky Chater and Chris Locke at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands
Vicky Chater and Chris Locke at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s baton Relay has now visited 68 nations and territories of the Commonwealth in 253 days, with its most recent travels taking it around nations and territories spanning North America, South America, and Europe over a four-week period.

Baton-bearer carrying the baton on the beach in Bermuda

In Bermuda, Clarence Hill, the territory’s first Olympic medallist, carried the baton into Heron Bay, where locals school students were excitedly waiting for their arrival and the chance to interact with both the baton and the athlete between May 22 and 23.

There was a wealth of activity when the baton spent four days visiting four-time host country Canada between May 26 and 29.

Mounties holding the baton at the football game in Canada

The baton visited locations such as McMaster University and the Hamilton Tiger Cat's football match in Hamilton, as well as taking in the sites at Niagara falls.

Baton-bearers taking in the spectacular views in Gibraltar

It visited a variety of landmarks in Gibraltar, including Top of the Gibraltar Rock and the Skywalk, where baton-bearers were treated to spectacular views of three countries, spanning two continents, on May 31 and June 1.

Vicky Chater (Badminton) and Chris Locke (Lawn Bowles) at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands

In the Falkland Islands between June 7 and June 8, young members of the Scouting association and Girlguiding UK carried the baton along the picturesque coast at Victory Green.

During the Relay, three veterans had the special honour of carrying the baton through Memorial Wood, which commemorates the soldiers who fought in the Falklands War.

Baton-bearers also carried the baton to the Falklands Conservation area in Fox Bay, which looks after and researches King Penguins.

Children relaying the baton around the track at FB Fields in Jersey

When the baton visited Jersey on June 10 and 11, baton-bearers visited Greve de Lecq beach and took the baton kayaking, while baton-bearers also carried the baton at many local sports facilities to engage with as many clubs and members as possible.

Baton-bearers in Guernsey between June 13 and 14 paraded around Castle Cornet and watched as, at precisely midday, the Castle’s gunners marched outside to perform a gun salute. The baton was also taken to Herm, an entirely car-free island.

Baton-bearer aboard a Viking Long Boat sailing past Peel Castle, to meet the next baton-bearer in the Isle of Man

The route in the Isle of Man between June 16 and 17 saw the baton visit Peel Castle and Tynwald Hill, an ancient meeting place thought to date back to the first millennium.

Highlights of the weekend included a boat trip on the Thames stopping at landmarks such as the London Eye and Big Ben; spending a night in the Tower of London with the Crown Jewels, closely guarded by Yeoman Warders; and visiting sporting venues at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

On July 4, the baton will return to England for the final stretch of its 294-day long journey, spending two days in each region, except for the West Midlands, where the baton will spend ten days visiting the host region, before coming to the end of its journey at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony.

Lisa Hampton, head of the Queen’s Baton Relay, said: “The nations and territories that the baton has most recently visited have given us an insight into their thriving communities and local histories.

"From beaches in Bermuda to a castle in Guernsey, we have had the pleasure of seeing spectacular places and remarkable people carrying the baton.

“The baton will now embark on a route through the home nations and England, the host country, as we look forward to the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

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