|The Queen opensThe XVIII Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, 15 March 2006|
|Written by HM The Queen|
|Saturday, 18 March 2006|
One year and one day ago - on Commonwealth Day 2005 - I placed this message in this hi-tech baton. It has since been carried round the Commonwealth on every continent and across every ocean by many thousands of voluntary Queen's Baton Relay runners.I hope that everyone who saw the Baton during its journey recognised it as a symbol of the unity and diversity of our Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth Games are both a product of our unique organisation as well as a tangible example of the value of this partnership of peoples.
Tonight we celebrate the value of sport as a means of bringing together people from seventy-one nations and territories, and from a wide range of cultures, traditions and beliefs.
I am glad to have this opportunity to offer my best wishes to every athlete and official taking part in these 'friendly' Games. I congratulate everyone who has worked tirelessly to organise this great sporting celebration, which I hope will entertain hundreds of millions of people round the world.
It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the eighteenth Commonwealth Games open.
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