Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

The 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are officially open after a stunning opening ceremony at Celtic Park.

A ceremony displaying Scotlish identity and the relationship with the Commonwealth ended with six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy handing the Queens Baton to The Queen and a spectacular firework display.

A worldwide audience of an estimated one billion were treated to appearances from actor John Barrowman, singers Amy Macdonald, Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle, the Scottish Ballet, the Red Arrows and the National Youth Choir among others.

Games partners Unicef made an unique public appeal during the ceremony which was accompanied by a number of videos compiling the work done by the charity with children across the Commonwealth.

Former Manchester United football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, American popstar Nicole Scherzinger and Hoy appeared as 'The Athletes of the Commonwealth' while Ewan McGregor and Sachin Tendulkar also featured.

The ceremony began with a brief overview of Scottish history, included several historical landmarks as well as humorous reference to the myths of the country.

Following the athletes parade, a speech from First Minister Alex Salmond - who called for a minutes silence for those who died while on board flight MH17 - welcomed the countries and territories of the Commonwealth to Scotland.

Hoy was then given the honour of handing the baton to The Queen, before the message within the baton - which has travelled across the Commonwealth over the past year - was read out to mark the opening of the Games.

Messages of goodwill cascaded from the sky ontop of the athletes from the 71 competiting nations before a stunning firework display drew an end to the evening.

The first day of competition in the Commonwealth Games in on Thursday.