On April 22, one day after her 92nd birthday, Her Majesty the Queen will be the official starter of the London Marathon.
According to a statement from the race, Queen Elizabeth II will step onto a special podium on the grounds of Windsor Castle to push the start button at 10 a.m., sending 40,000 runners on their way through the city.
We are thrilled to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will be the official starter of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon. Almost exactly 110 years after her Grandmother, then Princess Mary, started the 1908 Olympic Marathon from Windsor Castle, Her Majesty will start the 2018 London Marathon from Windsor Castle and BBC Sport will relay live coverage of the ceremony to runners in Blackheath #LondonMarathon
A post shared by Virgin Money London Marathon (@londonmarathon) on Mar 23, 2018 at 3:39am PDT
The Queen’s involvement has historical significance as well: It comes 110 years after the 1908 Olympic Marathon was started at the same location by then Princess Mary, the Queen’s grandmother. The 1908 race was the first to be contested over 26.2 miles, which became the marathon distance.
Other members of the royal family have connections to the London Marathon. Princess Beatrice, the Queen’s granddaughter, finished the 2010 race as part of a human caterpillar, 34 people tethered by bungee cords. They ran the race in 5:13.
Prince William and his wife, Kate, were the official starters last year and volunteered at a water stop.
The Duke, Duchess and Prince Harry congratulate those who took part in the 37th #LondonMarathon – many wearing #TeamHeadsTogether headbands. @heads_together is the official charity of the Marathon. Their Royal Highnesses have spearheaded the #headstogether campaign, as part of The Royal Foundation, to try to reduce the stigma around mental health. The #OkToSay campaign encourages people to have conversations to help change people’s lives.
A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Apr 23, 2017 at 7:20am PDT
The elite field for this year’s race, coming one week after the Boston Marathon, is filled with running royalty. It includes Eliud Kipchoge, Mo Farah, and Kenenisa Bekele on the men’s side, and Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba on the women’s side. Keitany has said she is targeting Paula Radcliffe’s world record.
They’ll get the cue to start from the royal whose reign has been an ultra: The Queen has ruled for 66 years, longer than any other monarch in British history.
queen elizabeth london marathon starter