The Queen’s Baton stepped into mythology today at the point where Hercules was said to have torn asunder the land and created the landmasses, now known as Europe and Africa, between the Mons Calpe mountain in Gibraltar and Jebel Musa mountain in Morocco.
In mythology or history, the Rock of Gibraltar has played an important role guarding as it does the Strait of Gibraltar, the entrance to the Mediterranean. Its prime location and natural height advantage over the vicinity area has ensured that it has played witness to many significant historical events through the eras and various empires that have controlled it.
Sixty years ago to the day, on 10 May 1954, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh paid their only visit to Gibraltar and looked out from upon high over the small nation and its seascape. With the weight of history upon its limestone shoulders, this weekend ‘the Rock’, as it is known, played host to another to be historical event, the visit of the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton.
In a show of patriotism, the town shone red, white and blue, with the local people out to line the streets and watch athletes, cyclists, motorcyclists and military forces relay the baton on its latest journey.
The girls of the Gibraltar Rhythmic Gymnastics Club swung their hoops and twirled their ribbons providing picturesque and elegant entertainment on the relay.
The Gibraltar Field Gun Crew of Her Majesty’s Forces pulled their armoury through the streets, marching alongside the baton - an important reminder of the strategic military importance the peninsula carries and the historic links with the British Empire.
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band, looking resplendent in immaculate red and white uniforms, entertained the crowds with renditions of Scotland the Brave and Chariots of Fire.
As the public enjoyed the regimental band they took the opportunity to hold the baton and to take photographs as a small reminder of the latest historical event on ‘the Rock’.