Her Majesty The Queen to start to the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

We are honoured to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will push the start button on the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon.

At 10:00am on 22 April, The Queen will step onto a special podium situated in front of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle and push the button which signals the start to this historic race.

Live coverage of the start ceremony will be shown on large screens at the starting areas for 40,000 runners before they set of from Blackheath and head out on the 26.2 mile course towards the finish line on The Mall.

Sir John Spurling, Chairman of London Marathon Events Ltd said:

We are deeply honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has accepted the invitation to start the 2018 London Marathon, especially as this will happen 110 years after the 1908 Olympic Marathon was started at Windsor Castle by the then Princess Mary, grandmother to The Queen.

As the grand finale to the 1908 Summer Olympic Games, the first ever marathon was held over the 26.2 mile distance. Some historians suggest that this specific distance was chosen so that the race would finish in front of the Royal Box at the White City stadium, or to start the race in front of the Royal nursery at Windsor. Princess Mary (later Queen Mary) set the runners on their way from Windsor Castle. Dorando Pietri (Italy) was the first to cross the line in the White City Stadium but was subsequently disqualified as, exhausted, he had been helped across the finish by two officials. The following day Queen Alexandra, who had watched the finish, presented Pietri with a gilded silver trophy to mark his achievement.

The Pietri Trophy will be on display at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo at ExCeL from 18 – 21 April.