Queen Camilla in first solo engagement as Queen Consort
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It has been revealed that Paddington teddy bears left for Queen Elizabeth at memorial sites following her death will now be donated to Barnardos. Her Majesty was patron of the children’s charity until 2016 when she gave the responsibility to her daughter-in-law Queen Consort Camilla.
The Royal Family’s official Twitter account wrote: “The bears have been scrubbed up to look their best ahead of arrival at their new home.”
Camilla can be seen in the photograph sitting on a sofa in the Morning Room at Clarence House, where she is wearing a dark navy blue dress with white snitching.
It was taken this week on Thursday, October 13, to mark the 64th anniversary of the publication of the first Paddington Bear book.
The toys are currently being stored at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the Royal Parks nursery at Hyde Park.
Paddington Bear became a symbol of mourning when Queen Elizabeth died in September, and Brits paid tribute to the 96-year-old monarch by leaving toy versions of the duffel coat-wearing, Peruvian mammal at memorial sites, such as at Buckingham Palace or royal parks in London.
They also left marmalade sandwiches, known to be Paddington’s signature snack, however, officials asked the public to instead leave marmalade in jars in order to not attract wildlife.
The special tributes are in reference to a video sketch that Her Majesty performed in earlier this year for the Platinum Jubilee, which celebrated Queen Elizabeth being on the throne for 70 years.
In the comedy sketch, the Queen is having afternoon tea with Paddington Bear, but he rudely drinks all the tea out of the teapot and then offers the late monarch a marmalade sandwich.
Queen Elizabeth then amusingly replies that she always keeps a marmalade sandwich in her handbag “for later”.
Royal fans took to Twitter after it was announced the famous teddy bears would be given to charity, and one happy fan wrote: “OMG! That is super cute! Our Late Queen would have loved that idea! Well done to all involved!”
Another royal fan joked: “Looks like Barnardos are going to need lots of marmalade!”
Somebody else said: “What [a] wonderful idea the children will love them.”
While one commenter wrote: “Paddington Bear will get out there and make so many new friends smile. What a clever idea, thank you, Your Majesty.”
Another fan said: “What a marvellous idea and who better than Queen Camila to be the bearer of cuddly bears.”
One person even offered a suggestion of what could be done with some of the teddys, and wrote: “They should take one for each of the royal children out to give them all one to remember their gran by.”
Karen Jankel, daughter of Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond, said it was “extraordinary” to see people turn to Padding Bear for comfort as they mourned Queen Elizabeth.
She said: “If somebody told me a year ago that the Queen was sadly going to die, and when she did, that Paddington would be a very large part of it, I would be utterly amazed.
“One of the last times most of us saw the Queen close up was when she did that marvellous sketch during the Jubilee celebrations.
Ms Jankel added: “That was the final image of the Queen for many people – that’s what they remember, and so they associate her with Paddington.”
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