Warm welcome home for the Queen's Baton Relay

Thousands of local residents and surprised tourists took to the streets of Edinburgh at the weekend to cheer on the arrival of the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay to the Capital.

Grace Reid and James Heatly

The sun was shining (for most of the day!) and the atmosphere in the city was buzzing as the baton was carried by Lorraine Kelly and Gavin Hastings, local heroes who were nominated for their charity and volunteer work, and Scottish athletes including former gold medalist boxer Alex Arthur MBE.

The baton even made a visit to Commonwealth Games venue the Royal Commonwealth Pool (pictured) where it was carried by Team Scotland diver Grace Reid, who watched on as teammate James Heatly took part in a special synchronised diving performance with the Edinburgh Diving Club.

Culminating in a free open air concert in West Princes Street Gardens,  which featured Eilidh Child, Nicola Adams and Scottish music acts, the baton received a very warm reception ahead of its journey around Scotland before the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion, said:“The people of Edinburgh turned out in their thousands to give the Queen’s Baton relay a warm welcome to Scotland and it was a fantastic sight to see so many people line the streets and take part in the celebrations to cheer on our batonbearers, who included children from every secondary school in the capital and many local heroes.

“The excitement is well and truly building for the Games when Edinburgh will become the only place in the world to host Commonwealth Games competitions for a third time when the diving events return to the Royal Commonwealth Pool.”

Commenting on the baton's 21 gun salute at Edinburgh Castle, the Lord Provost and Queen’s representative in Edinburgh, the Lord Lieutenant Donald Wilson, said: “What a fantastic turn out for the welcome of the Queen’s Baton Relay to Edinburgh and to Scotland.

“The Royal Salute and 21 gun salute to mark the Queen’s birthday was a fitting celebration of the Queen’s official birthday and her baton’s return to the host country of this year’s Commonwealth Games, and it was a pleasure to see so many Edinburgh residents and visitors take part in this historic event.”

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