Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Thousands of Paddington Bears left by those who paid tribute to The Queen across the Royal Parks and residences in September have been given new homes at a special picnic attended by the Queen Consort.
The bears were given a police escort from Clarence House to the venue by Claire Zazzara, Tony Moore and Michael Son BEM from the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children.
The Special Teddy Bear Picnic at the Barnardo’s Nursery in Bromley was attended by Camilla alongside actors Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris who play Mr Brown and Judy Brown in the film, Paddington.
Hugh Bonneville said: “It is a great initiative, where the label says, this teddy bear was left at a Royal Park or residence in memory of her majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
“All the children here have received one of these bears here today, they might not get the impact of it quite now but in years to come it will be something quite special.
“The idea of these two great symbols of kindness where the bear is always trying to reach out the hand of friendship and kindness, uniting in that wonderful sketch, is so wonderful as it took over as a symbol at the time of her passing.
“It is a nice memory of her that will continue for the next generation.”
The picnic was capped off with a special ‘Story time of Paddington’ which ended with the iconic bear’s favourite snack, a marmalade sandwich.
Karen Jankel, the daughter of Michael Bond, who wrote the Paddington story, said: “My father would be delighted, I’m not sure that he really ever anticipated Paddington reaching these dizzy heights but very special indeed.
“I am rather sad that he never got to see it really as he would have found it very special.”
The visit came after Camilla was pictured surrounded by teddies in a photo taken on 13 October to mark the 64th anniversary of the publication of the first Paddington Bear book.
Lynn Perry, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s, said: “It was a morning full of joy and happiness for the children to receive a Paddington bear left in memory of Queen Elizabeth.
“It is such an honour for the children in this community. I know that these bears will be going to great homes.”