UK News: Commonwealth Games 2022: Event kicks off in Birmingham

Duran Duran returning to hometown to open Birmingham Commonwealth Games

  Duran Duran returning to hometown to open Birmingham Commonwealth Games And we're hungry like the wolf for the hits.The 80s icons – made up of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor – will join Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on the line-up at Alexander Stadium.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games kicked off with a powerful tribute to The Queen's 70 years of 'passion and commitment' towards the participating nations as her son Prince Charles stands in for her as the monarch remains in Balmoral on her summer break.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla appeared at the official start of the games where the senior royals represented Her Majesty, who is patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and Head of the Commonwealth.

The 96-year-old, who has spent the last week at her Scottish residence, would have had to travel down to Birmingham for the Highlands to make the games - a situation likely considered too taxing for her at present.

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The decision to miss out this year will likely strike a personal blow to the long-reigning monarch, who has always held the Commonwealth Games close to her heart and was present the last time they were held in the UK in 2014.

Her Majesty did launch the Commonwealth Games baton relay at Buckingham Palace in October, placing a secret message inside it that won't be read out until the Games are underway.

While the Queen has missed only a handful of Commonwealth events over the last seven decades, she has been beset with 'mobility issues' and unable to appear at some events in any official capacity in recent months.

However she did attend her Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June and as recently as this week was still performing her royal duties despite the sweltering heatwave that gripped the country.

Sophie Wessex gives Prince Charles a kiss at the Commonwealth Games

  Sophie Wessex gives Prince Charles a kiss at the Commonwealth Games The Countess of Wessex, 57, greeted her brother-in-law Prince Charles with a kiss on the cheek as the royals took their seats ahead of the stunning spectacle in Birmingham on Thursday night.The Countess of Wessex, 57, greeted her brother-in-law Prince Charles with a kiss on the cheek as the royals took their seats ahead of the stunning spectacle.

Which events will the Royals be attending in the Commonwealth Games?

Thursday, July 28

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The Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, will represent The Queen at the opening ceremony.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex will also attend the ceremony, with Prince Edward being their in his capacity as vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

At the ceremony Prince Charles will give a speech at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, delivering a message from Her Majesty in the process.

Friday, July 29

The Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend a series of sporting events, the details of which will be released in due course.

Anne, the Princess Royal, will visit the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village at Warwick University where she will meet athletes competing in the games.

She will then watch the Rugby Sevens at Coventry Stadium, where she will see the following matches: England vs Samoa; South Africa vs Malaysia; Scotland vs Tonga; and Canada vs Wales.

Saturday, July 30

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will watch cycling at Lee Valley Velopark in London, being in attendance for the 4,000m Individual Support and presenting the winning athletes with their medals.

Who are the presenters and commentators for the Commonwealth Games 2022?

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Monday, August 1

The Earl and Countess of Wessex will return to Birmingham to watch events in the city between Monday and Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 2

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, will attend the games.

Saturday, August 6 - Monday, August 8

The Earl of Wessex will attend a series of fixtures at the Commonwealth Games, as well as meeting and thanking volunteers and support staff involved in running the events. He will then attend the closing ceremony on Monday, August 8, delivering a speech at the event.

Excitement surrounding the Queen's secret message, hidden inside a baton used in the traditional baton relay, built throughout Thursday evening.

The official Commonwealth Sports Twitter account tweeted: 'The wait is almost over. We finally get to hear Her Majesty’s Commonwealth Games message at tonight’s opening ceremony following it’s 90,000 mile journey around the Commonwealth. Don’t miss it!'

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will open the games in her place for the third time in Birmingham later this evening, aided by The Earl and Countess of Wessex - Prince Edward is Vice-Patron of the CGF.

Prince Charles previously opened the games in Her Majesty's place when they were held in India in 2010 and Australia in 2018.

Moment Nadine Dorries calls for 'security' during live Sky News broadcast

  Moment Nadine Dorries calls for 'security' during live Sky News broadcast Ahead of tonight's opening ceremony, the Culture Secretary was being grilled by Kay Burley in the middle of Birmingham when a pedestrian started yelling at the off-screen crew. An increasingly distracted Ms Dorries initially tried to continue with the interview - until the man's yelling became so loud she couldn't hear a question about justifying the £778million cost of the Games.And when the cameraman appeared to be threatened, she said: 'We're going to have to go Kay, I'm sorry. Your cameraman is in a little bit of trouble'.The camera kept rolling as she listened to the man shouting: 'Don't touch me.

Her Majesty previously opened the games in Canada (1978 and 1994), Scotland (1986 and 2014), England (2002) and Australia (2006).

Her late husband Prince Philip was a firm believer in the games, and opened them in Australia (1962 and 1982), Jamaica (1966), New Zealand (1974), Scotland (1970) and Wales (1958).

The Alexander Stadium ceremony is expected to be watched by around 1billion people worldwide.

This year's event are set to see a bumper turnout from members of the Royal Family as they are being held on home ground for the first time since 2014 - and a decade on from the London Olympics.

30,000 fans packed into the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on Thursday to catch a glimpse of the Royals and watch the opening ceremony get underway.

Headlined by the iconic Duran Duran, the ceremony will also see Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath take to the stage, alongside local rising stars Indigo Marshall and Gambimi.

More than 700 people from 15 musical groups from across the West Midlands will be performing tonight and the national anthem will be sung by Birmingham Conservatoire graduate Samantha Oxborough.

The London Olympics' opening ceremony was well received and highly praised around the world, but the theatre director Iqbal Khan who created Birmingham's show believes he has created an event just as entertaining.

'I don't feel in the shadow of the Olympics at all. I feel like we have a comparable and massively entertaining, moving, challenging show to share with the world,' he said.

'The Olympics was extraordinary for this country, but we refuse to be overwhelmed by that. We take that as inspiration.'

Prince William and Kate enjoy sporty day out with Princess Charlotte at Commonwealth Games – best photos

  Prince William and Kate enjoy sporty day out with Princess Charlotte at Commonwealth Games – best photos The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a sporty day out as they travelled to Birmingham to attend the Commonwealth Games where they were reunited with Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex – see the best photosPHOTOS: So in sync! William and Kate's best twinning moments

It comes as a heart-warming video celebrating the best of Birmingham was released today as excitement builds for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games tonight - after outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson insisted they are worth the £778 million taxpayer investment, even as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation.

The two-minute clip features a host of icons from the West Midlands city, including comedian Lenny Henry, actress Julie Walters and Good Morning Britain's Alison Hammond, as they describe Brum as the 'beating heart of England'.

The fictional Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders, played by actor Cillian Murphy, also makes an appearance to declare: 'This is our city', before the video ends with him saying: 'We'll raise the roof!', in a clip taken from the hit TV series.

The ceremony is being masterminded by Steven Knight, the creator of Birmingham-based Peaky Blinders.

As the host nation, Team England will be the last country to walk out at the 'Parade of Nations' at tonight's ceremony. The first will be Australia, after the last Games were held in the Gold Coast in 2018.

The Aussies topped the medal table four years ago, winning 198 in total - 80 of which were gold. England finished second with 45 golds (136 in total), ahead of India in third with 26 golds (66 in total).

Wales (10 golds) finished seventh, Scotland (nine golds) were in eighth and Northern Ireland (one gold) placed 20th.

The Birmingham Games promises a jam-packed lineup, with plenty of new sports and disciplines added into the mix. Women's cricket is a new addition to the schedule, alongside 3x3 basketball and mixed synchronised diving.

2022 marks the third time England will play host to the event after London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002.

A total of 15 venues across the West Midlands have been selected to hold different sporting events, including the famous NEC Arena in Birmingham city centre and Coventry Stadium – home to the Wasps rugby team and Coventry City FC.

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Royal Family: Princess Charlotte shares what sport she likes most at Commonwealth Games .
The princess made a rare solo public appearance with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Games In a rare solo public appearance, the young royal was pictured pulling a range of expressions – and even sticking her tongue out – as she enjoyed swimming heats, a hockey match and gymnastics. The young princess also revealed gymnastics was the sport she liked most.

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