LONDON – Camilla, the wife of Britain’s King Charles, personally delivered dozens of Paddington Bear toys to a children’s charity on Thursday, giving a new home to the toys which had been left by well-wishers as a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth.
Mourners placed more than 1,000 Paddingtons and other teddy bears among the mass of floral tributes and messages which were left outside palaces and royal parks in London and Windsor in the days of mourning following Elizabeth’s death in September.
The stuffed bears have been professionally cleaned, and on Friday Camilla, the queen consort, visited a Barnardo’s Nursery in east London for a ‘teddy bears picnic’ featuring marmalade sandwiches, and to hand out some of the Paddingtons to vulnerable young children there.
She was joined by two of the cast from the recent Paddington films, Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris, who played Mr Brown and Judy Brown in the movie adaptations of the children’s books.
The royal link to Paddington stems from a video in June, when the then monarch appeared having tea with the children’s literary character which became one of the highlights of four days of celebrations to mark her 70th year on the throne.
During the comic sketch, she told Paddington she always kept the character’s favourite – a marmalade sandwich – in her ever-present handbag.