The baton’s journey symbolises the unity and shared ideals of the Commonwealth of Nations, and enables communities beyond the Host City to share the Games celebrations. It also serves a functional purpose in carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘message to the athletes’ from Buckingham Palace in London to the opening ceremony of the Games.
The Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi commenced from Buckingham Palace, London, on the 29 October 2009. The baton will then travel through all other 70 Commonwealth nations – a historic journey that will cover a distance of more than 170,000 kilometres in 240 days. On its 100 day national tour, the baton will visit the capital of each of India’s 28 states and seven union territories, plus many other cities along the way, covering more than 20,000 kilometres. By the end of its journey, the baton will have traversed over 190,000 kilometres in 340 days, making the Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi one of the longest relays in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
The baton will also have passed through thousands of hands, and travelled by different modes of transport across land, air and sea. The relay will conclude after the final Batonbearer enters the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games on 3 October 2010 where Her Majesty’s message will be removed from the baton and read aloud, officially opening the Games.
The Queen`s Baton 2010 Delhi was unveiled at a spectacular cultural show held at India Gate in New Delhi on 8 March 2009.
The Queen`s Baton 2010 Delhi is a combination of handcrafted excellence and precision engineering, it is a true symbol of India: its ancient roots and present vibrant, modern identity. It is also representative of India’s diversity – the baton’s colour scheme showcases ‘soils’ from every corner of the country, a rich palette ranging from white sands to yellow clay, deep reds to dark browns and an array of other hues.
The shape and design of the baton has been created using a triangular section of aluminium which is twisted in the form of a helix and coated with soil in a graduating pattern. Interweaving of the intricate hand layered soil pattern creates a very distinctive design, form and texture never before seen in the styling of a Queen’s Baton.
Culminating at the pinnacle of the Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi is a precious jewellery box containing the Queen’s ‘message to the athletes’. The Queen’s message has been symbolically engraved onto a miniature 18 carat gold leaf, representative of the ancient Indian `pathras`. The gold leaf inscription reflects the essence and the richness of culture in ancient India. Modern laser technology known as micro calligraphy has been used for the first time to reproduce the Queen’s message in this style.
The Queen`s Baton 2010 Delhi stands at 664 millimetres high is 34 millimetres wide at the base, and 86 millimetres wide at the top and weighs a mere 1,900 grams. The baton’s ergonomic contours allow for convenient holding and good balance.
The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi technology features include:
The ability to capture images and sound as it travels throughout all nations of the Commonwealth;
The latest global positioning system (GPS) technology through which the exact location of the baton can be tracked on the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi website;
Embedded light emitting diodes (LEDs) which will change into the colours of a country’s flag whilst in that country; and
Text messaging capability so that anyone anywhere can send their messages of congratulations and encouragement to the Batonbearers throughout the Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi.