The Queen hails ‘shared values’ as Games open

Queen Elizabeth II arrives during the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park
Queen Elizabeth II arrives during the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park

At a ceremony last night the Queen delivered a message before an estimated worldwide audience of around one billion, as she opened the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Her Majesty had arrived in Glasgow by train ahead of the opening event.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, she waved to a crowd as they were driven from the platform to Celtic Park in the east end of the city for a reception.

Later, accompanied by a flypast by the Red Arrows, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were driven into the arena before a crowd of 40,000 and an estimated global audience of around one billion.

Members of the audience joined in the singing of God Save The Queen by Robert Lovie, with the mountains and glens of Scotland as a backdrop on the huge screen.

The Queen spoke of the “shared ideals and ambitions” of the Commonwealth when she delivered the message which has travelled the world in the Games’ baton relay.

She highlighted the “bonds that unite” the 71 nations and territories when she formally declared the 20th Commonwealth Games open.

In an address directed at all the athletes competing in the Games, she made special reference to the young people of the Commonwealth, saying they are entrusted with its values and future.

The message, kept secret until last night, circled the globed for the last nine months since the Queen placed the paper inside the baton.

Reading the message, the Queen said: “At Buckingham Palace last October I placed this message into the specially-crafted baton and passed it to the first of many thousands of baton-bearers.

“Over the past 288 days the baton has visited all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth, crossing every continent in a journey of more than 100,000 miles.

“The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth and serves as a reminder of our shared ideals and ambitions as a diverse, resourceful and cohesive family.

“And now, that baton has arrived here in Glasgow, a city renowned for its dynamic cultural and sporting achievements and for the warmth of its people, for this opening ceremony of the Friendly Games.”

The Queen, in her role as head of the Commonwealth, sent her best wishes to the competing athletes.

She also offered her “sincere thanks” to the many organisations and volunteers behind the Games, as well as the spectators and the millions watching on television.

She added: “It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games open.”