The 17th Commonwealth Games are set to begin in Manchester, bringing together top athletes from 72 nations.
It is the most significant multi-sport event held in Britain since the 1948 Olympics.
Formerly the British Empire Games, the event was first held in Hamilton, Canada, in 1930 and has been staged every four years, except during the Second World War.
Athletes will compete in individual and team sports, including athletics, swimming, hockey, netball and rugby.
Some 1,400 gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented.
Up to one billion television viewers are expected to tune in, thrusting Manchester, along with the athletes, into the spotlight.
The Queen is opening the Games at a ceremony to be attended by some 200 Heads of Government, British and foreign Royals.
In 1958 the honour was left to the Duke of Edinburgh because the Queen was too ill to attend.