Over the bank holiday weekend, the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay will visit famous landmarks across London for the Platinum Jubilee.
These include the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Battersea Power Station, Tower of London, Royal Docks and Paternoster Square.
This will mark the first time the Baton has returned to England since it departed from Buckingham Palace on October 7 last year and embarked on a global tour of the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
When and what are the free-to attend public events?
Thursday, June 2
The baton begins its central London journey at the Battersea Power Station.
It will be passing through a Britannia-inspired party which is being held to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee from June 2 to June 3.
Visitors between 7 and 8pm on Thursday, June 2 will be encouraged to cheer on the baton bearers, who are all inspiring members of the local community.
The baton bearers will go 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.
The family-friendly event will feature live music, dance performances and food and drink pop-ups.
Saturday, June 4
After the baton has been exchanged between baton bearers on the River Thames, it will stop at key landmarks including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Greenwich Royal Naval College, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Eye.
The relay will then continue from Blackfriars Pier, with the baton passing St Paul’s Cathedral and arriving at Paternoster Square.
The City of London Corporation is hosting a free, family-friendly community event at Paternoster Square - where visitors will get chance to have a photo with the Baton.
Visitors 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.
There will also be street theatre, live music, and street food.
Sunday, June 5
The baton will be delivered by sponsors Royal Mail and will be relayed across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - in celebration of the 10-year anniversary since the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The baton will then be taken to the London Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Bell, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre and the Lee Valley VeloPark.
Between 9am and 12noon, the relay will be peppered with performances and activities including street theatre acts, stilt-walkers, cheerleaders, and a special performance from The Games Maker Choir, formed of volunteers from London 2012 and subsequent global sporting events.
Later, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the Royal Victoria Square where the public will be treated to a unique performance from the English National Ballet in the square.
It will then travel along the waterside and later board 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.
Who will be carrying the Queen’s Relay Baton?
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.
Former and current Team England athletes
- 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
- Basketball star Temitope Fagbenle - first Brit to win a WNBA Championship
Members of the community
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.
Nana is is the founder of BADU Sports & BADU Community, and 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.
What have those involved said about the Queen’s Baton Relay?
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.”
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.”