Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Following the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, people have been flocking to the Royal Parks in their drones to pay their respects.
Over the weekend, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse have been covered with flowers and cards in tribute to the monarch, who died at 96 last Thursday.
People are also leaving Paddington Bear toys and marmalade sandwiches, in a nod to the viral comedy sketch The Queen filmed for her Platinum Jubilee.
But speaking on BBC Breakfast, presenter Sally Nugent said that the parks “are suggesting that there are enough Paddingtons and marmalade sandwiches at the moment.”
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) September 12, 2022
She added: “Please feel free to bring flowers, but maybe don’t bring any more Paddingtons or marmalade sandwiches for now”.
Whilst flowers are accepted at a dedicated site in Green Park, the Royal parks state on their website that “no gifts and artefacts will be accepted, and the public will be asked not to bring these to the parks.
“Non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears or balloons should not be brought. 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.”
The flurry of Paddington themed memorial tributes have been laid in honour of a sketch of The Queen and the beloved movie character having lunch at the palace.
The fictional bear showed up (in CGI form) and told The Queen that he had his favourite treat with him, lifting up his famous red hat to reveal the snack hiding within.
In an iconic moment, Her Majesty responded: “So do I,” and plucked out a marmalade sandwich from her own handbag, too.
The moment was shared widely on social media at the time, and became one of the monarch’s most beloved and viral appearances in recent years, ahead of her passing.
You can watch it here:
Speaking following The Queen’s death, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who wrote the sketch, mused in The Observer: “It’s easy to see why that was so powerful. In retrospect, it was valedictory.
“A woman waving a happy goodbye to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, an image of love and a happy death”.