The Queen's baton relay has left Buckingham Palace bound for the Gold Coast and next April's Commonwealth Games.
The launch, watched by thousands of people gathered in front of the palace under blue skies, starts the countdown to the Games opening ceremony on April 4th 2018.
Australian athletes Anna Meares and Kurt Fearnley helped launch the relay watched by thousands of people gathered in front of the palace under blue skies.
The relay is the start of the countdown to the Games opening ceremony on April 4th 2018.
Cheered on by the crowd, Fearnley carried the baton into the palace forecourt for the ceremony after the wheelchair racer was escorted up The Mall by the Band of the Scots Guards.
"That was hands-down the most humbling, the most unique experience of my life," the Paralympic gold medallist said.
"That was not reality for a while. It was an amazing experience."
"I love the idea that there's one baton, one baton that goes from hand to hand across our Commonwealth that starts here with the unique message from Her Majesty and will end at the Gold Coast for our Games."
The Queen placed her personal message to athletes in the baton before passing it to Meares, the first baton carrier.
The Olympic gold medallist then joined her former track cycling rival, Victoria Pendleton of the UK, at the palace gate.
The pair circled the Queen Victoria Monument before passing the baton to Australian singer Cody Simpson, who earlier in the ceremony had performed I Still Call Australia Home.
He hopped into a brightly-coloured Kombi van with a surfboard on top to take the baton to Westminster Abbey for a Commonwealth Day Service.
The baton will then embark on a 388-day journey around all nations of the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Games opening ceremony when the Queen's message in the baton will be read out.