Paddington Bear is feeling right at home at Buckingham Palace.
Following Queen Elizabeth's death in September, over 1,000 Paddington Bear teddies were left outside royal residences by mourners in tribute to the late monarch. The teddy bears became a touching symbol for the Queen following her death, which came just a few months after she appeared in a sketch alongside the animated bear during her Platinum Jubilee in June.
Palace staffers collected the bears and have since kept them at the palace. They will now be donated to Barnardo's children's services — and some will be personally delivered by Queen Camilla!
Next Thursday, the Queen Consort will attend a special teddy bears picnic, featuring some of the stars of the Paddington movies. During the event, Camilla will hand out Paddington Bear teddies and other stuffed toys that were left as tributes to Queen Elizabeth to a group of kindergarteners.
Ahead of the event, the palace released a set of charming images of the bears having the run of the palace! The teddies are shown sliding down the grand staircase banister and lounging on the velvet-covered chairs. An adorable video also shows them getting an all-important spruce-up ahead of next week's party.
The kindergarten is run by Barnardo's in Bow in east London. Camilla, 75, took over the patronage of the children's charity from the late Queen in 2016.
At the royal tea party, which takes place on November 24, Paddington film cast members Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris (Mr. Brown and Judy Brown respectively) and the daughter of Paddington author Michael Bond Karen Jankel, for whom the original stories were written, will join the party. Bonneville will read the story Paddington Takes A Bath to the children.
"Those involved in the project hope the teddy bears will be much loved for many years to come by children supported by Barnardo's, whilst understanding the story behind the bears and how they came to be donated," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Paddington Bear was center stage at the Jubilee when the late Queen pulled off a tremendous surprise when she joined the famous book and film character in a hilarious skit that saw the monarch hosting the bear for tea — and revealing what she keeps in her trusty handbag: a marmalade sandwich!