Let the glorious journey begin! As we enthusiastically follow the ceremony for the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay launch, from Buckingham Palace in London, we marvel at its 388-day journey through the entire Commonwealth ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Containing a message of peace-building, ambition and community spirit from The Queen, the Queens’ baton will travel through Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania before the 11-day Commonwealth Games begin on 4th April 2018.
Not only is 40 years of Commonwealth Day worthy of a celebration, we must also admire the enduring role of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her incredible 65-year reign. Celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee this year, we marvel at her unfailing commitment to duty and her dedicated service. Since her accession, following the sudden death of her father King George VI in 1952, Her Majesty has embraced her role as Sovereign and Head of State — an inspirational figure-head for 16 Commonwealth realms and Head of the Commonwealth for 52 Commonwealth nations.
Having toured all but two of the Commonwealth nations (the exceptions being Cameroon and Rwanda), during her long reign, Her Majesty could easily be described as the ‘Queen of Travel’. She has embarked on over 271 foreign trips, covering over 40,000 miles and has visited 117 countries in total, out of a possible 195, during 90 years. Since her first state visit to America in 1957 she has seen 12 American presidents, and is the most widely travelled head of state in history. An accomplished Globe-trotter, travel has been an integral part of the Queen’s life and is inextricably linked to her role. From grand palaces to small island retreats and vast Africa plains, she has visited a myriad of countries and experienced a kaleidoscope of cultures. Boasting an enviable selection of transport types and a history of glamorous wardrobes, The Queen must surely have taken part in the greatest royal odyssey ever undertaken in the New World. Whilst most travel enthusiasts would be happy to have visited so many continents and countries just once in their lifetime, The Queen has actually visited Canada 24 times, Australia 16 times and New Zealand 10 visits — remarkable and awe-inspiring in itself!
At 90-years young, and as the longest reigning British monarch, we salute her impressive health and ongoing work ethic, plus look forward to her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Such an exceptional achievement surely deserves a splendidly majestic occasion and we expect nothing less than a cacophony of Commonwealth celebrations — no doubt consisting of vintage gifts, wonderful nostalgia and an outpouring of emotion. With such a wonderful Commonwealth collection of diverse nations, islands and outposts we predict a colourful global party filled with pageantry, pomp and ceremony. From formal occasions to street party merriment, we toast Her Majesty in many languages and traditions, and honour her extraordinary reign. Looking back, there is little doubt that she has carried out her wish to be a dutiful monarch and we hark back to an excerpt from the young Princess Elizabeth’s famous speech, “My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”. Thankfully it has indeed proved to be a long and successful reign. So, after such an incredible and inspiring life journey, carried out with style and grace throughout, perhaps we should crown Queen Elizabeth II as our greatest modern traveller?
Should you wish to follow in the path of the Commonwealth Baton, experience the diverse lands of the Commonwealth nations, stay in Australia's Gold Coast during 2018, or simply create your own epic and elegant journey, please simply call our dedicated Travel Experts on 01244 897 555.