Explained: Why Paddington Bear toys, marmalade sandwiches have been banned at Queen’s tribute sites

The Royal Parks, the charity in charge of 5,000 acres of royal land across London, has asked mourners not to leave Paddington Bear soft toys, marmalade sandwiches and corgi soft toys at Queen Elizabeth II’s tribute sites. The visitors have been told no gifts or non-floral objects will be accepted

FP Explainers September 13, 2022 20:24:38 IST
Explained: Why Paddington Bear toys, marmalade sandwiches have been banned at Queen’s tribute sites

Paddington Bear toys, marmalade sandwiches are among those items banned from tribute sites for Queen Elizabeth II. AFP

Mourners have been told to refrain from leaving Paddington Bear plush toys, marmalade sandwiches and corgi soft toys in London while paying homage to Queen Elizabeth II.

The Royal Parks, the charity in charge of 5,000 acres of royal land across London, has said no gifts or artefacts will be accepted, as per The Guardian.

Besides these gifts, visitors have also been asked to remove the wrapping from flowers, and not to offer lit candles and balloons in the parks as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, who passed away on 8 September.

Why have these restrictions been imposed? What is the Queen’s history with Paddington Bear?

Let’s find out:

No gifts 

Many fans have been leaving marmalade sandwiches and Paddington Bear toys in front of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral as a mark of respect to the Queen, reports Independent.

Explained Why Paddington Bear toys marmalade sandwiches have been banned at Queens tribute sites

Only floral tributes are allowed at various sites for the queen. AFP

Due to this, the Royal Parks said on its website that it would “prefer visitors not to bring non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears or balloons”.

ALSO READ: Currency, national anthem, and more: All that will change in the UK after Queen Elizabeth II

It also said that cards and labels will be accepted, adding that if visitors place lit candles for the Queen in the parks their flames will be put out.

All the offerings for the Queen left by the mourners near Buckingham Palace are being shifted to the designated tribute garden in Green Park, CBS News reported..

Why the ban?

The Royal Parks has banned non-floral items in the parks to make the tributes ‘more sustainable’.

“Any form of floral tribute is acceptable. In the interests of sustainability, we ask visitors to only lay organic or compostable material,” The Guardian quoted the Royal Parks’ statement.

“The public will be asked to remove all wrapping from floral tributes and place these in the bins provided. Removing the wrapping will aid the longevity of the flowers and will assist in subsequent composting which will start between one week and a fortnight after the date of the funeral,” the statement added.

As per Independent, all tributes to Queen Elizabeth II will remain at the sites till ceremonial activity has taken place.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service will be held at London’s Westminster Abbey on 19 September.

Queen’s association with Paddington Bear

The Queen and the royal family have a long history with the classic children’s book character Paddington Bear created by author Michael Bond.

The bear first appeared in Bond’s 1958 book A Bear Called Paddington.

The next year Bond released Paddington at the Palace which revolves around the bear’s adventures at Buckingham Palace.

Even though he does not meet her in person, Paddington says he spotted Queen Elizabeth II in the window, as per Metro.co.uk.

In 2006, Paddington Bear visited the palace in ‘real life’ for a pantomime play entitled The Queen’s Handbag, which was organised as a part of Children’s Party at the Palace, in honour of the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations.

British artist Eleanor Tomlinson celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s friendship with Paddington Bear through an illustration that depicts the duo walking hand-in-hand along with one of the Queen’s corgis, according to  Metro.co.uk.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

As part of her platinum jubilee celebrations, the Queen performed in a skit with Paddington Bear, where the two have tea and express their love for marmalade sandwiches.

Acting alongside the CGI bear, voiced by Ben Whishaw, the Queen patiently listens to him slurping tea. The bear also accidentally covers a footman in cream.

“Perhaps you would like a marmalade sandwich,” Paddington asks the Queen pulling one out from his famous red hat.

Explained Why Paddington Bear toys marmalade sandwiches have been banned at Queens tribute sites

Queen acted in a sketch with Paddington Bear as part of her As part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. AFP

“I always keep one for emergencies,” the beloved children’s book character adds.

To this, the queen takes out a sandwich from her purse and responds, “So do I”.

After the Queen’s death, Paddington Bear’s official Twitter handle wrote, “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the writer of the sketch, said in The Observer, “It used to be said that millions of people had dreams in which they had tea with the Queen. Even our dream life is going to have to change.”

“Watching her have tea with Paddington will have to do instead. It’s easy to see why that was so powerful. In retrospect, it was valedictory. A woman waving a happy goodbye to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, an image of love and a happy death,” he added.

With inputs from agencies

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