05 April, 2018
(G.N.S) DT.04 In a couple of hours, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will kick off in Australia.
The Queen's representative said: "On Commonwealth Day past year I placed this message into the impressive baton". He said: "Even though we are half a world away, we are all connected".
"Because the measures that have come in for drug-testing means these will be the cleanest Games, they'll be friendly Games and at the end of it our reputation globally will be restored".
Britain's Prince Charles and wife Camilla were among the guests and the heir to the throne was due to officially open the Games later in the painstakingly planned gala.
Commonwealth Games 2018 opening ceremony: A child carries the baton during the opening ceremony.
"Starting tonight on the Gold Coast we can flick the switch to optimism and celebration".
The 140-minute ceremony kicked off late in front of a 35,000-strong global crowd - some of whom had paid up to $495 for tickets.
Protesters outside the Carrara Stadium.More news: Saudi prince's White House visit continues Kushner courtship
It is a custom still widely practiced among many Indigenous Australians and involves the burning of various native plants to cleanse in the smoke and connect with good spirits.
The air was moist after a thrashing rainstorm drenched spectators making their way to the stadium. The full Team TTO contingent is now in Australia as the last batch of athletes arrived on Monday.
GOING FOR GOLD: The first gold medallist of the games will likely be the victor of the women's triathlon on Thursday, and the overwhelming favourite is two-time world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda. The double Olympic champion gymnast Max Whitlock, hot favourite to reclaim the three titles he won in Scotland, also joined the parade, along with the country's netballers and badminton players.
Our Canadian team, led by flag-bearer Meaghan Benfeito, marched proudly into Carrara Stadium today.
Reeling from its ball-tampering scandal, hosts Australia will seek to use the Games to restore some much-needed sporting dignity and reclaim top spot in the medals table from England, who topped the list in Glasgow for the first time since 1986. [Photo: Courtesy] Prince Charles, Prince of Wales greets dignitaries. Dressed in a glittering blue jumpsuit, she belted out Welcome to Earth.
The ceremony began with cameras focusing on an Aboriginal family in the crowd.
A huge inflatable whale floated above the stadium as the ceremony drew towards a close.