One of many Paddington Bear toys left by well-wishers in London for the queen
London (AFP) - More than 1,000 Paddingtons and other teddy bears left by mourners following Queen Elizabeth II’s death are being donated to a leading children’s charity, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.
Barnardo’s will receive the professionally cleaned toys in the coming weeks after they were left outside royal residences in London and Windsor, along with a sea of flowers, after Elizabeth died on September 8.
The late monarch was patron to Barnardo’s for three decades, the UK charity’s chief executive Lynn Perry said.
“We promise to look after these bears who will be well-loved and bring joy to the children we support,” she said in a palace statement.
Paddington Bear became synonymous with Elizabeth at a “Platinum Party” in early June celebrating her record-breaking 70 years on the throne.
The party and concert memorably kicked off with the queen interacting with a computer-generated Paddington, tapping the beat to Queen’s “We Will Rock You” on her teacup.
London’s Royal Parks service has said meanwhile that the many flowers left last month were to be composted down for re-use in planting projects.