The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Gravesend during its final journey through England this summer.
Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of show-stopping sport nears ever closer.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022. Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.
On Friday 8 July, Gravesend will officially welcome the Baton between 8am and 9am.
A busy schedule of activities and events are being planned for the Queen’s Baton Relay, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Batonbearers who are striving for change in their community.
During its time in Gravesend, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, before being carried through the streets to Town Pier, where it will be taken on board a boat and ferried across to Tilbury from where it will start its tour of Eastern England.
Details of the best viewing points to enjoy the event will be publicised shortly.
Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route.
Cllr John Burden, the Leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said: “Gravesend and our friends across the water in Tilbury have some of the deepest links with the Commonwealth in the country, so it is especially pleasing to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to the town.
“In June it will be 74 years since the SS Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks carrying the first Caribbean migrants to the UK, who would go on to help re-build Britain after the Second World War.
“Some of those first arrivals made their way over the water here to Gravesend, where they settled and laid the foundations of a community that still thrives here today, living, working and playing alongside others with their family roots firmly embedded in Commonwealth countries and elsewhere.
“The visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay is high profile recognition of how our town and Borough has welcomed our cousins from the Commonwealth and beyond with open arms.”
Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.
Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland.
Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.
Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania. It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations consisting of five days in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.
The dates of when the Baton visits each region are:
- 4 July – 5 July: South West
- 6 July – 7 July: South East
- 8 July – 9 July: East of England
- 10 July – 11 July: East Midlands
- 12 July – 13 July: Yorkshire and the Humber
- 14 July – 15 July: North East
- 16 July – 17 July: North West
- 18 July – 28 July: West Midlands
Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture & Queen's Baton Relay, said: “Whilst the Baton has been travelling across the Commonwealth, we have worked closely with Local Authorities in England to devise a route that engages with hundreds of communities, passing sport venues, historic sites, local schools and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yet the Queen’s Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. And by the time the Baton returns to England for the final leg, 71 nations and territories will have already experienced the magic that comes with it.
“We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on July 28.”
Throughout May, the Queen’s Baton Relay continues its journey through the Caribbean and the Americas, with visits to St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and Canada, amongst others.
The Queen’s Baton
The Queen’s Baton for Birmingham 2022 was created in a West Midlands collaboration that fused art, technology and science. Made from copper, aluminium and steel, the Baton also features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting-edge technology; 360-degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.