After an epic 137-day journey of 63,000 miles across the Commonwealth and the UK, The Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay reached its final destination – the City of Manchester Stadium – where young heroine Kirsty Howard handed the Baton to Her Majesty The Queen with the help of footballing superstar David Beckham.
The Queen then took her message from within the Baton and declared the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games open. On its journey across the world from Buckingham Palace to Manchester the Baton had been carried by 5,000 Runners.The vast majority of the Runners were ordinary people who had worked in an extraordinary manner on behalf of good causes.
The Baton Design
‘A living object expressing both the uniqueness of the individual and the common rhythm of humanity.’ This was the concept behind the stunning technological reality of the 2002 Queen’s Jubilee Baton.
The Baton was designed by a company called IDEO and is constructed of machined aluminium with the handle plated for conductivity. It weighs 1.69 kg, reaches over 710mm, and is 42.5mm to 85mm in diameter. The Queen’s message itself is held in an aluminium capsule inserted into the top of the Baton. On either side of the Baton are two sterling silver coins, designed by Mappin and Webb, which celebrate the City of Manchester as host of the XVII Commonwealth Games.
But the true wonders of the Baton are the sensors inside, which detect and monitor the Runner’s pulse rate. This information is conveyed to a series of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), via a light behaviour module. The lens then transforms the LEDs into a shaft of bright blue pulsating light which synchronises with each new Runner. The hearts of the Runner and the Baton beat as one until it is passed on, symbolising the journey of humanity and the essence of life.
The Baton will begin to beat when it is handed to Her Majesty The Queen, on March 11 2002 at Buckingham Palace, for the start of The Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay. When it finishes its journey, finally reaching the City of Manchester Stadium on 25 July 2002, The Queen will release the capsule from the Baton and read the message within to the Commonwealth Nations.
The Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay Runners
Who carried the Baton?
The Baton was carried by 5,000 individuals throughout the UK, with each Runner carrying the Baton up to 500 yards. Included in the 5,000 were athletes, community representatives, celebrities and a wide cross section of people from all walks of life.
What was a Jubilee Runner?
A Jubilee Runner was a person selected by the community to carry the Baton. A Jubilee Runner was someone who had made a special contribution to their community, improved the lives of others or achieved a personal goal against the odds.
How were Jubilee Runners selected?
By writing in 80 words or less on an official nomination form, you were able to nominate yourself or a friend, relative or someone from your community to be a Jubilee Runner. The judging of the Jubilee Runners was conducted by a panel of judges under the supervision of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award on 12/13 January 2002.
Key Relay facts
• The Baton departed Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002
• The Baton contained The Queen’s Message to be read at the Opening Ceremony of the XVII Commonwealth Games in Manchester
• The Baton travelled almost 59,000 miles across the Commonwealth visiting approximately 23 Commonwealth countries over 87 days
• The Baton returned to the United Kingdom on 6 June 2002 for the start of a 50 day event
• During these 50 days the Baton:
o travelled the four corners of the United Kingdom
o passed famous landmarks and visited areas of natural beauty and historical significance
o travelled within one hour’s drive of 95 per cent of the United Kingdom population
o spent approximately 65 per cent of its time travelling through non-metropolitan areas
o travelled about 5,000 miles by road
o was welcomed at 50 evening community celebrations in the UK’s towns and cities including the Opening Ceremony of the XVII Commonwealth Games in Manchester
o was carried by 5,000 Runners, averaging 100 Runners per day
• each Runner carried the baton for approximately 500 yards
o travelled on approximately 30 alternative modes of transport including steam train, double-decker bus and a ferry across the Mersey
o was supported by up to 33 convoy vehicles
o required a 150-man support crew throughout the 50 day event
o was ‘on parade’ for about 10-12 hours each day
o required approximately 2,500 hotel rooms to accommodate the crew throughout the Relay
o needed around 15,000 meals during the event to feed the crew
The Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay completed its journey in the City of Manchester Stadium at the Opening Ceremony of the XVII Commonwealth Games on 25 July 2002.