Stop Leaving Marmalade Sandwiches For The Queen, Says Royal Parks

·4-min read
A toy Paddington Bear and a marmalade sandwich, outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)
A toy Paddington Bear and a marmalade sandwich, outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)

A toy Paddington Bear and a marmalade sandwich, outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. (Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images)

It was the Queen’s final starring role of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and now her iconic double act with Paddington Bear is living on in tributes paid after her death.

The monarch’s two-minute skit with the famous bear from Peru – another British icon – was widely judged a highlight of the Platinum Party at the Palace in June.

The pair were seen sitting down together for a spot of tea, with Paddington swigging straight from the spout, before offering the Queen a bite of his marmalade sandwich, the one he keeps handy, he told her, “just in case”.

“So do I,” the Queen replied, before opening her famous black handbag to reveal the very same. “I keep mine in here,” she said. “For later.”

Now, mourners are leaving sandwich bags, bears and other bits of Paddington memorabilia outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Holyroodehouse and other royal residences around the country.

A Paddington bear with messages and flowers hangs at the gate of Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo: SOPA Images via Getty Images)
A Paddington bear with messages and flowers hangs at the gate of Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo: SOPA Images via Getty Images)

A Paddington bear with messages and flowers hangs at the gate of Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo: SOPA Images via Getty Images)

A Paddington Bear teapot is seen with floral tributes left outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk (Photo: LINDSEY PARNABY via Getty Images)
A Paddington Bear teapot is seen with floral tributes left outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk (Photo: LINDSEY PARNABY via Getty Images)

A Paddington Bear teapot is seen with floral tributes left outside the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk (Photo: LINDSEY PARNABY via Getty Images)

Another Paddington Bear teddy in Green Park, near Buckingham Palace. (Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images)
Another Paddington Bear teddy in Green Park, near Buckingham Palace. (Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images)

Another Paddington Bear teddy in Green Park, near Buckingham Palace. (Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images)

One well-wisher even handed a Paddington Bear directly to Prince William during his unexpected public walkabout with his wife and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoon.

In fact, there are so many Paddingtons and sandwich bags piling up outside royal residences that The Royal Parks, which operates Green Park and St James’s Park, as well as six other royal parklands around London, has asked the public to stick to leaving flowers instead.

“The Royal Parks are suggesting that there are enough Paddingtons and marmalade sandwiches in the parks at the moment,” a BBC Breakfast presenter said outside Buckingham Palace on Monday morning.

“So please feel free to bring flowers, but maybe don’t bring anymore Paddingtons or marmalade sandwiches for now.”

The message echoed guidance issued on the Royal Parks website regarding floral tributes to the Queen.

“We would prefer visitors not to bring non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears or balloons,” it reads. “Cards and labels will, however, be accepted and will be periodically removed by The Royal Parks’ staff and contractors for storage offsite. This process will be carried out with discretion and sensitivity.”

On Twitter, many commented on the very British nature of the situation.

But others have suggested that people’s time and money could be spent elsewhere, especially given the current cost of living crisis.

“Give a marmalade sandwich to a homeless person, donate the money you would’ve spent on a Paddington doll to a charity,” tweeted barrister and commentator Rupert Myers.

Meanwhile, author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who co-wrote Paddington’s Platinum Jubilee skit and also had a hand in the Queen’s unexpected cameo with James Bond at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012, has been reflecting on why the meeting captured public imagination.

“It used to be said that millions of people had dreams in which they had tea with the Queen,” he wrote in the Observer. “Even our dream life is going to have to change. Watching her have tea with Paddington will have to do instead.”

Some have questioned whether the real Queen even starred in the skit, Cottrell-Boyce added.

“A conspiracy theory went round that the establishment had employed Paddington’s producers... to create a deep fake queen,” he added. “No one seemed to question the reality of the bear.”

The late Queen having tea with Paddington during the Platinum Party at the Palace. (Photo: Victoria Jones - PA Images via Getty Images)
The late Queen having tea with Paddington during the Platinum Party at the Palace. (Photo: Victoria Jones - PA Images via Getty Images)

The late Queen having tea with Paddington during the Platinum Party at the Palace. (Photo: Victoria Jones - PA Images via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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