Queen sends Games baton on global relay
The Queen has set the Commonwealth Games baton on its journey around the globe following a razzmatazz-filled ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
With the colourful flags of the Commonwealth's 52 member states as a backdrop, the Queen, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, watched as the baton was carried its first few hundred metres by a succession of Olympic stars.
The Queen's baton is on a 388-day relay covering more than 140,000 miles and it will visit every Commonwealth nation on its way to the Games, which are being hosted by Australia on its Gold Coast in 2018.
Inside the baton is a message from the monarch which will be read at the opening ceremony of the Games in April next year.
The Queen, who was also joined by the Earl of Wessex, handed the baton to its first bearer, Australian cycling legend and Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares, after adding a capsule with her words for the Commonwealth athletes.