Queen's Baton To Catch Edinburgh Tram

16 May 2014, 14:05

The Queen's Baton, which heralds the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games, will travel by tram through Edinburgh when it is welcomed to Scotland.

Organisers today revealed the 36-mile route it will take when it is carried by more than 100 baton-bearers across the city next month.

The hand-crafted baton, containing a personal message from the Queen, has been travelling around the Commonwealth in the lead-up to Glasgow 2014. It touched down in the British Isles on Sunday when it arrived on a flight to Jersey.

Edinburgh will be the first Scottish city to welcome the baton on June 14. It will visit Murrayfield Stadium, board a tram to the city centre and then be carried down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace.

A 21-gun salute at noon will also be held to mark the Queen's official birthday celebrations.

Councillor Steve Cardownie said: "The relay will be a fantastic opportunity for people to take to the streets to show their support for our baton-bearers and celebrate Edinburgh's part to play in the Commonwealth Games.

"It is great that the Queen's Baton will travel throughout the capital and into the many communities that make this city so unique.

"As host of the 1970 and 1986 Games, and co-host of this year's diving event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, it is fitting that the baton will be brought home to Edinburgh - the only city in the world to welcome Commonwealth Games events for a third time."

Crowds will get the first glimpse of the baton as it arrives at Heriot-Watt University, where a number of activities will be held to celebrate.

Other events taking place include concerts in Princes Street Gardens and at the Usher Hall, a family school run event and the chance to try Commonwealth Games sports at Meadowbank stadium.

The relay will also take in more of Edinburgh's communities including Leith, the Portobello promenade and Duddingston, before the baton is received at the Royal Commonwealth Pool where a diving demonstration will be held.

Sports Secretary Shona Robison said: :"The Queen's Baton Relay is an exciting and dynamic countdown to the Games and offers the perfect opportunity for communities across the whole of Scotland to share in the pride and excitement of what look to be the best and most successful Games ever."

The Edinburgh relay marks the start of the baton's 40-day tour of Scotland ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which take place from July 23 to August 3.

The baton has been on an epic tour of the Commonwealth since the relay began at Buckingham Palace in October, travelling to 70 nations and territories.

Unlike the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays where the flame was passed through hundreds of torches, there is just one baton for the Commonwealth Games - meaning up to 4,000 people will have carried the Queen's message on the Scottish route of the relay before it is read out at the opening ceremony.