When Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8th, thousands of people left tributes outside Buckingham Palace – as well as royal parks across London and Windsor. The tributes included flowers, crowns, candles, signs, and teddy bears – more specifically, Paddingtons.
On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced that the more than 1,000 teddy bears – including the Paddingtons – will be donated to Barnado’s children’s charity, in partnership with The Royal Parks. Those that donated a teddy bear will be pleased to know they’re going to a great cause.
Barnado’s is the largest children’s charity in the UK. They help “hundreds of thousands of children, young people, parents and carers via our 800+ services across the UK,” according to their official website. Queen Elizabeth II served as the charity’s patron between 1983-2016.
In 2016, Queen Elizabeth II passed along the patronage to the now-Queen Consort, Camilla – wife of now-King Charles III. To celebrate the news of the donation, Buckingham Palace shared a photo of Queen Camilla surrounded by dozens of the teddy bears being sent to the charity.
“Those involved in the project hope the teddy bears will be much loved for many years to come by children supported by Barnardo’s, whilst understanding the story behind the bears and how they came to be donated,” the press release said, adding they will be professionally cleaned.
Lynn Perry, chief executive at Barnado’s, was pleased to hear the news and ‘honored’ to give the hundreds of teddy bears a loving home. She promised to ‘look over’ the teddy bears and ensured they will be ‘well-loved’ – adding they will bring a lot of joy to children across the UK.
We are incredibly grateful to Her Majesty The Queen Consort for her support in helping us to raise awareness of the needs of vulnerable children and young people in the U.K. so that we can continue to support them through our vital services,” continued Perry in a statement.
In late-September, a group of more than 200 people volunteered with The Royal Parks Charity to help clear out all the tributes left behind in honor of Queen Elizabeth II – doing so respectfully and ‘sensitively.’ The State Funeral for Her Majesty The Queen was held on September 19th.
The Adorable History Between Paddington and Queen Elizabeth II
Believe it or not, Queen Elizabeth and Paddington date back to 1986, when Her Majesty was featured in a cartoon book – Paddington at the Palace – alongside Paddington Bear. In the cartoon, Paddington never gets to meet the Queen, but he does see her through a window.
More than 35 years later, Paddington Bear finally got his wish when he met the Queen in a hilarious, fun-loving sketch that aired during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration – which celebrated the 70th anniversary of her taking the throne. She was seen having tea with the bear.
The clumsy bear didn’t leave any tea for Queen Elizabeth II, but he did offer her a marmalade sandwich – noting that he always keeps one for emergencies under his hat. That’s when the Queen opened up her handbag and responded, “So do I. I keep mine in here, for later.”
Well, now we all know what Queen Elizabeth II has been keeping in her handbag all these years – a marmalade sandwich. Before she left her tea party, Paddington Bear tipped his hat and said, “Happily Jubilee, Ma’am. And thank you, for everything.” She responded, “That’s very kind.”
If you’d like to donate to Barnado’s children’s charity – whether that be in the form of a cash donation, a Paddington teddy bear, or any other way – you can visit their website here. All donations help support parents, children, and families of all ages across the United Kingdom.
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