Commonwealth Games open in colourful, moving ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
A boy watches the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
A boy watches the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Members of the Singapore delegation walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Members of the Singapore delegation walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Members of the Singapore delegation walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Members of the Singapore delegation walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Fireworks light up the sky during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Fireworks light up the sky during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Singer John Barrowman performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Singer John Barrowman performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Jets fly over the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Jets fly over the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A pipe band performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A pipe band performs during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Flagbearers of the Commonwealth Games Federation display the flag during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Flagbearers of the Commonwealth Games Federation display the flag during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Spectators look on during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Spectators look on during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves as she arrives during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves as she arrives during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

GLASGOW (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II opened the 2014 Commonwealth Games on Wednesday after a moving and colourful ceremony staged at the famed home of Celtic football club.

The 20th Commonwealth Games will feature 17 sports across 11 days of competition with more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations competing, making the event the biggest Scotland has ever hosted.

Amongst the colour, there was a sombre, immaculately-observed minute's silence to remember the 298 people who died in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight disaster.

Eighty-two of the victims were from Commonwealth nations.

"To you, the Commonwealth athletes, I send my good wishes for success in your endeavours," Queen Elizabeth told the athletes.

"You remind us that young people, those under 25 years of age, make up half of our Commonwealth citizens; and it is to you that we entrust our values and our future.

"I offer my sincere thanks to the many organisations and volunteers who have worked diligently to bring these Games to fruition, and indeed to the spectators here in the stadium and to the millions watching on television. Together, you all play a part in strengthening our friendships in this modern and vibrant association of nations.

"It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games open."