Ladies and Gentlemen,
My wife and I could not be more delighted to be able to join all of you here on the Gold Coast this evening - and the many millions of you who are watching from your homes across the Commonwealth - for this spectacular Opening Ceremony of the twenty-first Commonwealth Games. I have been asked by The Queen to represent Her Majesty and to convey the following message to you all:
"On Commonwealth Day last year, I placed this message into the impressive Baton. Over the past 388 days, on its journey from Buckingham Palace to the Gold Coast, the Baton relay has passed through every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. I have no doubt that the Baton and its carriers have been warmly welcomed by the many thousands of people who have lined the route.
The ancient stories told by the indigenous people of Australia remind us that, even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected. Over the years, these Friendly Games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities. In this spirit of cooperation and togetherness, common ground has been established and enduring friendships forged.
As you come together at the start of these Games, I continue to be inspired by the courage, enthusiasm and dedication of all those taking part. I send my warm wishes to every competing individual and team and to all those who have helped to bring about the first Commonwealth Games in this very special part of Australia, the Gold Coast."
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, it now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 21st Commonwealth Games open.