Queen's Baton Relay 2022: What is it, when will the baton visit Portsmouth, what is the route, who are the batonbearers and what is the weather forecast?
AN INTERNATIONAL relay event is set to come to Portsmouth to promote the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The route is the finale to the baton’s epic journey across the Commonwealth in the build-up to the Games in Birmingham this summer.
Queen Elizabeth II became the Head of the Commonwealth on her accession in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI.
However, the role is not hereditary.
But when will the relay be in the South East and will the baton visit Portsmouth?
Here's everything you need to know:
What is the Queen's Baton Relay?
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.
Dame Louise Martin DBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, 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.’
According to the Commonwealth Games website, the baton has been specially created by designers and technologists from the West Midlands in a unique collaboration that fuses science, technology, engineering and art.
When will the relay be in the South East?
More than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton Relay on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres) as it travels via land, air and sea.
The relay kicked off on Thursday, June 2, and the baton spent four days in London to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend.
The baton then resumed its international journey, visiting the Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, before touring the home nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
It returned to England on Monday, July 4 to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.
The relay will visit the South East between July 6 and July 7.
Will the Queen's Baton Relay visit Portsmouth?
On July 6, the baton will visit Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury, Maidenhead, Eton and Windsor, Aldershot, Winchester, Hambledon, Southampton, and Portsmouth.
The baton will embark on a journey from Southampton to Southsea Seafront via hovercraft, reaching Portsmouth at around 6.15pm.
It will visit the Get Active event on Southsea Common before travelling to Gunwharf Quays, the Historic Dockyard and the city centre.
The baton will then return to Southsea Common for more festivities.
On July 7, the baton will visit other areas in the South-East including Guildford, Tonbridge, Canterbury, Folkestone, Deal, and Dover.
What is the relay route in Portsmouth?
The new timetable estimates that the baton will arrive in Southsea by Hovercraft around 6.15pm and can be seen around the city as follows:
-Gunwharf Quays - starting at Gunwharf Quays' Plaza travelling through to the main square before leaving by the pedestrian exit to The Hard - expected time 6.20pm to 6.30pm
-Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - from the main Victory Gate entrance on The Hard onto Main Road and HMS Warrior, with the Royal Marine Band Corps of Drums performing - expected time 6.30pm to 6.40pm
-Charles Dickens birthplace - along Old Commercial Road and the footpath to All Saints Road - expected time 6.55pm to 7pm
-Commercial Road precinct - from the north of the precinct at the junction with Lake Road to the southern end junction with Edinburgh Road - expected time 7pm to 7.05pm
-Victoria Park and Guildhall Square - entering the park on the north-east corner on Bishop Crispian Way and following the path along the eastern side of the park before exiting via the Cenotaph memorial and heading south through Guildhall Square - expected time 7.05pm to 7.10pm
-Southsea Common - from the Serpentine through the Get Active event and onto the event stage 7.15pm to 7.30pm.
Timings may vary depending on how fast Batonbearers run or walk and anyone wanting to make sure they see it is recommended to arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of the expected time.
Who are the Batonbearers for Portsmouth
Thousands of batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the baton during the journey through England.
The batonbearers include those who have been 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.
The batonbearers for Portsmouth include:
What is the weather forecast for tomorrow in Portsmouth?
According to the Met Office, it is expected to be a fairly cloudy day tomorrow in Portsmouth, with some sunny intervals in the afternoon.
There will be highs of 22 degrees and lows of 14 throughout the day.
What other countries have taken part in the relay?
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.
The Queen’s Baton Relay began in London on October 7, 2021, and has since travelled to parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Upcoming locations before the relay makes its journey back to London on June 2 include Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Bermuda and Canada.
When is the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games?
The opening ceremony for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham on July 28, 2022.