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This is what happened to the Paddington Bear tributes left for Queen Elizabeth II

Marie Claire UK logo Marie Claire UK 26/11/2022 Megan C. Hills
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When Queen Elizabeth II passed away, the gates of Buckingham Palace were piled high with flowers - as well as marmalade sandwiches and Paddington Bear toys. So many were left that it prompted Buckingham Palace to leave a statement saying it would “prefer visitors not to bring non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears.”

While many of the flowers were later composted, we’ve now found out what happened to all the bears. Barnardo’s, a charity which supports vulnerable children, revealed Camilla, the Queen Consort, had donated over a thousand Paddington Bear toys to the organisation and had personally brought some to their nursery in Bow. 

It revealed, “The rest of the bears will be distributed to children who are supported by Barnardo’s throughout the country.”

The Royal Family’s official Twitter account also shared the toys’ unexpected journey from Buckingham Palace to their new homes in a sweet operation called The Paddington Project. It revealed the toys were gathered from royal residences across the country, then washed and dried at either Buckingham Palace or Clarence House. The video joked the toys had been “doing some light reading at Clarence House” as they waited for their new homes.

The iconic teddy bear’s relationship to Queen Elizabeth is a sweet one, as the late royal appeared in a special video with Paddington over the course of her Jubilee Celebrations. They were seen having tea in Buckingham Palace, with the Queen revealing she also secretly carries around a marmalade sandwich in her Launer handbag.

Paddington’s official Twitter account also brought tears to fans eyes as he paid tribute to her following her passing, writing at the time, “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”

Barnardo’s said they were grateful to the Queen Consort “for her support and kindness,” adding, “The fact that we’re able to give homes to the teddies left by the British public in memory of Queen Elizabeth II to children supported by Barnardo’s makes this donation especially meaningful.” 

“Some of these children may be facing big challenges in their lives and some parents may not be able to afford to buy lots of toys, particularly at the moment during the cost-of-living crisis and ahead of the festive season,” it continued.

Learn more about Barnardo’s by heading to their website here. 

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