The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will arrive in England on Thursday 2 June for an incredible four-day visit in London, coinciding with the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
It marks the triumphant return of the Queen’s Baton to England since it departed from Buckingham Palace on 7 October last year and embarked on a global tour of the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
As one of the most exciting and engaging traditions of the Commonwealth Games, the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay visits communities in all 72 nations and territories before the sporting event begins. The epic journey ends with a final tour of the host country, which concludes at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium on 28 July 2022.
Once the Baton has arrived in London, the Relay will visit famous landmarks, engage with communities at celebrations and local events and visit grassroots sport clubs.
Londoners will welcome the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July, when the fast-paced track and para-track cycling competition takes place at Lee Valley VeloPark, but before then, locals can follow the Queen’s Baton Relay as it tours Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, celebrating the sports participation legacy of London 2012 during its 10th anniversary year.
Members of the public can join the celebrations and witness the excitement of the Queen’s Baton Relay at the following free-to-attend public events:
• Thursday 2 June – Battersea Power Station – 7pm – 8pm
The Baton begins its central London journey at the iconic Battersea Power Station, joining a Britannia-inspired party which is being held to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from 2-3 June. The family-friendly event will feature live music, dance performances and food and drink pop-ups. Visitors between 7-8pm on 2 June will be encouraged to cheer on the Batonbearers, who are all inspiring members of the local community, from the new Battersea Power Station Underground Station to the front of the Grade II* listed Power Station where they will be greeted with a special performance from the Battersea Power Station Community Choir.
• Saturday 4 June – Paternoster Square, City of London – 12.15pm - 3pm
After the Baton has been exchanged between Batonbearers on the River Thames, stopping at key landmarks including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Greenwich Royal Naval College, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Eye, the Relay will continue from Blackfriars Pier, with the Baton passing St Paul’s Cathedral and arriving at Paternoster Square, next to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Joining a free, family-friendly community event at Paternoster Square hosted by the City of London Corporation, visitors can expect to have a photo with the Baton and try their hand at Commonwealth Games sports, including shooting hoops with the London Lions, the capital’s only pro basketball team, and table tennis with charity Greenhouse Sports. Visitors can also enjoy street theatre, live music, and street food.
• Sunday 5 June - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – 9am – 12pm
The Baton, which will be delivered by sponsors Royal Mail, will be relayed across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in celebration of the 10-year anniversary since the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. Taking in each iconic venue, the Baton will be taken to the London Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Bell, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre and the Lee Valley VeloPark. The Relay will be peppered with performances and activity including the Pandemonium Drummers, who took part in the Olympic opening ceremony; Zoo Riot Cheerleaders; Skate Gals n Pals; London Parkour Academy; London Youth Rowing; Bowjangles, a classical string quartet; the Brass Volcanoes brass band, stilt-walkers; street theatre act Wheezy Rides; local cycling groups Bike Works and British Cycling Academy; and special performances by The Games Maker Choir, formed of volunteers from London 2012 and subsequent global sporting events.
• Sunday 5 June - The Royal Docks – 2.30pm – 5pm
The Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the Royal Victoria Square and will travel along the Royal Docks. The public will be treated to a unique performance from the English National Ballet in the square, before the Baton is taken along the waterside and later boards a dragon boat as part of a 25-boat flotilla through the Royal Docks. Highlights along the route include a stop at Pumping Station Square where artists will set up puppeteering and sculpting activities. The activity will culminate with a community celebration event at the Royal Victoria Gardens, where the public can enjoy a street party filled with music and dance, which will go on until 8pm.
In addition to the public celebrations, the Baton will also be present at a number of private and closed events across the city, providing the opportunity for communities to experience the Baton in a closer and more engaging way.
On Thursday 2 June, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Brinsworth House, a care home for the entertainment industry in Twickenham, which is run by the Royal Variety Charity. Residents, staff and supporters will have the special chance to see the Baton up close and to celebrate their sole Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, who took on this role at the very start of the reign 70 years ago.
The following day, on Friday 3 June, the Baton will visit grassroots sport clubs, recognising the impressive work they are doing in the community.
Later that day, the Baton will visit the Longines boutique on Oxford Street, celebrating the watchmaker’s partnership with the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Over the weekend, the iconic Tower of London will play an important role as the Baton will spend the night in the fortress’s Jewel House, home to the world-famous Crown Jewels, where it will remain safely guarded overnight. The following morning, and before the venue opens to the public, Batonbearers will carry the Baton through the new ‘Superbloom’ installation at the Tower of London which has been transformed in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee year. The historic moat has been sown with 20 million seeds and will feature 29 species of flowers throughout the summer.
Across the four days, inspiring individuals from both the community and sporting space will be entrusted to carry the Baton at the various events, activities and relay stretches.
Five former and current Team England athletes will be taking part, including British diver and Olympic gold medallist Matty Lee MBE; British judoka Simone Callender, who became Commonwealth champion in 2002 and is now an active volunteer for British Judo; and basketball star Temitope Fagbenle, homegrown talent and first Brit to win a WNBA Championship.
One of the remarkable Batonbearers from the community is Nana Badu who will be carrying the Baton at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He was nominated and selected in recognition of his phenomenal work in mentoring, developing and transforming the lives of young people in East London through sport, education and social justice action. Founder of BADU Sports & BADU Community, Nana is not only passionate about empowering the next generation to become the best version of themselves, but he has created support systems around young people so all parents/carers and families can be empowered and uplifted.
Ensuring a seamless and safe experience throughout the Relay, a dedicated team from West Midlands Police will accompany the Baton and its bearers as they travel the country, including the extended weekend in London in June.
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “It doesn’t seem long ago when we gathered at Buckingham Palace to witness the Queen placing her Message inside the Baton, signifying the launch of this special journey. Since October, the Baton has visited 62 out of the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, engaging with communities at every step. The return of the Baton to England is a huge milestone and its long-weekend in London is expected to be full of excitement and celebration, coinciding with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee as well as the 10 year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It all comes together as we countdown to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, now less than 70 days away.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President, Dame Louise Martin, said: “It will be a special celebration to have the Queen’s Baton return to London to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. This four-day tour of the capital will create further excitement and anticipation for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which gets underway in just two months’ time.”
Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Nigel Huddleston, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is coming home to join the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. This is a fantastic opportunity for Londoners to enjoy a piece of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games for free, as it champions the people, communities and landmarks that make our capital city one of the finest in the world.”
Paul Blanchard, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay will be one of the highlights of the Jubilee celebrations in London, which will bring people together from all backgrounds and communities. We are delighted to have a handful of our current and former Team England athletes joining in with the celebrations across London.”
Following the visit to London, the Queen’s Baton Relay will resume the international journey, heading to the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Baton will return to England on 4 July for a 25-day tour of the country, 11 of which will be based in the West Midlands, building excitement and buzz amongst communities during the final countdown to the Games.
For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit http://www.birmingham2022.com/qbr