Camilla delivers Paddington toys to a children's charity
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The Queen Consort cuddled a youngster in a sweet moment today as she re-homed Paddington Bear cuddly toys with vulnerable children at a nursery after thousands were left in tribute to the late monarch. Camilla personally delivered the teddy bears to Barnardo’s charity at Bow Nursery in east London, describing it as a “pleasure”.
King Charles’s wife, who looked elegant in green, chatted with youngsters cared for by the charity during a picnic complete with marmalade sandwiches.
Camilla gave the children Paddington Bear toys which members of the public had left at the Long Walk in Windsor and outside Buckingham Palace following the late Queen’s death in September.
The Royal Family has donated more than 1,000 bears to Barnardo’s, and each toy was professionally cleaned ahead of being delivered to the charity.
The late monarch took part in a sketch in the summer for her Platinum Jubilee which saw Paddington Bear visit Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea.
In the charming video, the Queen produced a marmalade sandwich from her handbag which Paddington famously loves.
It prompted mourners to leave teddy bears and even some marmalade sandwiches among the floral tributes which amassed outside royal residences following her death.
On Thursday, Camilla was greeted by Barnardo’s chief executive Lynn Perry MBE and its chair of trustees John Bartlett before being taken on a tour of the nursery by team manager Shamima Ahmed.
The Queen Consort joined a group of children aged two and under around a table.
Two-year-old Noa Nkemdirim hovered nearby until Camilla gave her a hug.
Camilla also spoke with a circle of older children who were playing with blue foam, asking them: “What are we doing here? Making a mess? We love a bit of mess.”
To mark the end of her visit, the Queen Consort enjoyed a picnic with Paddington film cast members Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris, and author Michael Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel, for whom he wrote the stories, and around 40 children.
Three-year-old Oscar Isherwood shouted: “I don’t like marmalade” while others clamoured to receive a bear from the Queen Consort.
Camilla gently told the children to place the tiny boots on their Paddington bears “otherwise he won’t be able to go outside”.
As she stood to depart, the royal told the children and their carers: “It has been a pleasure to find a home for these bears – please look after them carefully”.
Carer Leighann Ives and three-year-old Serena Wicks presented the Queen Consort with a bouquet and a thank-you note.
Camilla had travelled to the nursery in a car filled with some of the Paddingtons, on a journey from Clarence House in Westminster, along the Mall and past London landmarks including Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge.
The visit comes after Camilla was pictured surrounded by teddies in a photo taken on October 13 to mark the 64th anniversary of the publication of the first Paddington Bear book.
Barnardo’s chief executive Lynn Perry said: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was Barnardo’s patron for over 30 years, and we are honoured to be able to give homes to the teddies that people left in her memory.
“We promise to look after these bears which will be well-loved and bring joy to the children we support.
“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 UK so that we can continue to support them through our vital services.”
In 2016, the Queen passed the patronage of Barnardo’s to Camilla, who was then the Duchess of Cornwall.
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