Don't Leave Out Marmalade Sandwiches as a Tribute to the Queen, Royal Parks Service Pleads

Apparently, the park wildlife has been chowing down on the Paddington Bear-inspired treats.

Tributes to Queen Elizabeth II outside Hillsborough Castle on September 13, 2022
Photo: Michael Cooper / PA Images via Getty Images

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, people will mourn in different ways — and it's often said that there is no wrong way to grieve. However, for anyone hoping to honor the Queen by referencing a brief comedy sketch she performed with Paddington Bear in celebration of her Platinum Jubilee, well, the Royal Parks organization has said they'd prefer it if you didn't leave marmalade sandwiches at her floral tribute near Buckingham Palace.

The sketch in question — filmed for the Queen's Jubilee in June and viewed on YouTube over 10 million times — shows Queen Elizabeth having tea with an animated Paddington bear. The comedic clip features the uncouth bear drinking tea directly from the pot and accidentally smashing a pastry. As an additional joke, Paddington asks the Queen, "Perhaps you would like a marmalade sandwich?" As he pulls it out of his hat, he adds, "I always keep one for emergencies." The Queen replies, "So do I" — revealing a sandwich of her own in her purse. "I keep mine in here. For later."

Paddington has been around almost as long as the Queen, and it's well known that marmalade is his favorite food. Meanwhile, though the Queen apparently enjoyed having marmalade and toast for breakfast, it's probably safe to say she didn't actually keep sandwiches of any kind in her purse.

And yet, the video, which is only about three months old, has inspired enough people to leave marmalade sandwiches and stuffed Paddington bears as tributes for the queen at the floral tribute garden set up in Green Park (across from Buckingham Palace) that Royal Parks, who is managing the tribute, issued an official statement on the matter.

"We are asking people not to leave marmalade sandwiches because of the negative impact on the park's wildlife," the group said according to the PA News Agency. Stuffed bears are apparently less problematic, but Royal Parks added that, for sustainability reasons, they'd prefer if people stuck to flowers.

Still, if people do leave Paddington bears, Royal Parks said they have a plan. "We will carefully store any teddies and artifacts that have been left and will work closely with our partners, including Buckingham Palace, to agree what we do with them over the next few months with discretion and sensitivity," they were quoted as saying. However, what will happen to any marmalade sandwiches not claimed by wildlife wasn't clear.

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