Scotland has welcomed the world with an Opening Ceremony to the XX Commonwealth Games featuring thousands of friendly faces, a blend of bagpipes, banter and bravado and a soundtrack made for the best party in town.
Global celebrities joined thousands of locals to bring a tantalising mix of tradition, irreverent fun and true Glaswegian hospitality to life for the world to see.
The rhythm of Glasgow’s heart was beating to the drum of Rod Stewart who rocked the crowd with a rousing rendition of his hits.
The ceremony, which featured more than 1,300 volunteer cast members, ranging from eight to 85 years old and representing every local authority in Scotland, was inspired by a desire to put people and communities at the heart of the Ceremony.
The spectacular event was watched by a stadium audience of 40,000 and television viewers of an estimated one billion in 71 Commonwealth nations and territories.
Stunning performances from Scottish Ballet and superstar Susan Boyle were combined with the talent of South African soprano Pumeza to bring a truly international edge to the ceremony.
And communities across Scotland were placed firmly centre stage joined in music and song with Nicola Benedetti accompanied by the Big Noise Orchestra and Eric Whittacre and his Virtual Youth Choir.
The athletes of the Commonwealth were invited to take a seat and join in the party by thousands of volunteers who gave the performance of their lives.
Each nation and territory was welcomed into the stadium by one of 71 Glaswegians on stage to give a very personal warm welcome.
The Queen’s Baton made its way on its final leg of the journey helped by adventurer Mark Beaumont, UNICEF friend from Jamaica, Jennica Stirling, and finally Scotland’s greatest ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.
The Queen read her message which has travelled 190,000kms since October 9th last year, traversing the Commonwealth until finally coming home
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, said: “This was the moment we had been waiting for since the bid was accepted in 2007.
“This Opening Ceremony promised many things – including showing Glasgow as a generous host – and I think we can say that we did just that.”