Queen tells of 'shared ideals' at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
Published 23/07/2014 | 23:16
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, which was kept secret until tonight, has circled the globed over the last nine months, since the Queen placed the paper inside the baton which then visited all 71 locations.
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 when she addressed the opening ceremony at Glasgow's Celtic Park.
She said: "To you, the Commonwealth athletes, I send my good wishes for success in your endeavours. Your accomplishments over the coming days will encourage us all to strengthen the bonds that unite us. You remind us that young people, those under 25 years of age, make up half of our Commonwealth citizens; and it is to you that we entrust our values and our future.
"I offer my sincere thanks to the many organisations and volunteers who have worked diligently to bring these Games to fruition, and indeed to the spectators here in the stadium and to the millions watching on television. Together, you all play a part in strengthening our friendships in this modern and vibrant association of nations.
"It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games open."