Scores of Paddington bears that were left in tribute to the Queen face being left in storage for MONTHS while park officials decide what to do with them
- Paddington Bears had been left in tribute to Her Majesty after her death at 96
- The proliferation of the Peruvian teddies prompted calls to avoid leaving them
- But Paddington kept coming and now organisers have to decide how to proceed
- The bears have obvious sentimental message but have been outdoors for days
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Paddington Bears left in tribute to the Queen in Green and Hyde Parks may end up languishing in storage as decisions about their future prove a thorny issue.
The Peruvian cuddly toy became an unlikely symbol of grief in the aftermath of Her Majesty’s death last week.
Hundreds of the furry blue duffle coat-sporting figures were laid in honour of the Queen at sites including Green Park and Hyde Park.
There were so many of them, organisers requested that only floral tributes be left – effectively banning the bears.
But the polite ask fell on deaf ears and the Paddingtons kept coming, with many clearly visible and on location this morning.
In around a week the floral tributes will be sensitively removed and turned into compost to be used in the parks.
But a decision about the Paddingtons and other toys have not yet been made, with the plan currently to store them until someone is able to make a call on their future.
Organisers have a difficult decision to make as they are of obvious sentimental value, but after at least a week in the elements seem unlikely to be in a condition to be given away.
Paddington Bears were left in tribute to Her Majesty after her death at 96 earlier this month
A Paddington Bear among tributes left in Green Park over a week ago in memory of the Queen
A spokesperson for Royal Parks said yesterday: ‘Our priority at the moment is to manage the huge volume of flowers and tributes that are being left in The Green Park Floral Tribute Garden and the Hyde Park Floral Tribute Garden.
‘We will store any teddies and artefacts that have been left and will work closely with our partners to agree what we do with them over the next few months with discretion and sensitivity.
‘The flowers themselves will be removed from the Floral Tribute Gardens 7-14 days after the funeral and will be composted in Kensington Gardens, with the compost then being used on shrubberies and landscaping projects across the Royal Parks.’
Floral tributes and a Paddington teddy bear were laid at the gates of Balmoral in Scotland
A Paddington Bear toy is placed among floral tributes at the Sandringham Estate last week
Michael Bond’s beloved bear appeared in a comic sketch with the Queen to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in June.
The two-minute video sees Paddington and the Queen taking tea in Buckingham Palace as the Jubilee celebrations begin.
Paddington Bear hilariously defies royal etiquette by drinking straight out of the teapot, crushing a cake and pulling a marmalade sandwich out of his hat.
Queen Elizabeth took the opportunity to showcase her sense of humour by bringing a sandwich out of her bag that she keeps ‘for later’.
A member of the security team encouraged people to leave marmalade in a jar instead of sandwiches so it would be easier for volunteers and workers to remove
One tribute read: ‘A marmalade sandwich for your heavenly travels! Thank you Ma’am.’ Another had just ‘marmalade sandwich’ written on the bag
A marmalade sandwich had been left by some mourners sad about the death of the Queen
Since then Paddington bear has become a symbol of the nation’s love for the Queen.
Tributes to the monarch after her death at Balmoral Castle included sandwiches with ‘For Later!’ written on them.
One read: ‘A marmalade sandwich for your heavenly travels! Thank you Ma’am.’
Another had just ‘marmalade sandwich’ written on the bag.
Michael Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel, 64, said it was ‘sad’ mourners had been told to stop leaving the teddies.
She said her late father – who died in 2017 – would have been ‘overwhelmed’ by his beloved creation being used to honour Her Majesty.
Ms Jankel said: ‘I think it is sad but on the other hand I can understand with it’s difficult because there are so many of them.
‘It is very lovely but there are so many of them. I’m quite sure that charities could benefit from collecting them but someone has got to go and do it.’