The Queen’s Baton Relay is one of the great traditions of the Commonwealth Games, having started at the Games in Cardiff, Wales, in 1958. The Baton is now as much a part of the Commonwealth Games tradition as the torch is part of the Olympics.
Traditionally the baton leaves Buckingham Palace, London containing a message from her Majesty, it signifies the call for all athlete's to come together to celebrate the games. The relay concludes at the Opening Ceremony, as the final relay runner hands the baton back to Her Majesty, or her representative, and the message is read aloud. At that moment the Games begin.
In the last games in Melbourne 2006, the Queen’s Baton travelled 16,936km from Buckingham Palace through the Commonwealth, before traveling around Australia on its journey to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. This relay is the world’s longest traveling more than 180,000 kilometres and visiting all 71 nations of the Commonwealth in one year and a day.
The last Commonwealth Games was in New Delhi, India. The next edition of Commonwealth Games will be held in 2014 Glasgow, Scotland.