The Royal Parks released guidelines politely asking mourners to stop leaving Paddington Bears and marmalade sandwiches in the Royal Parks.
In the United Kingdom, mourners are lining the streets and showing their support for the royal family after the death of Queen Elizabeth II nearly a week ago. It’s customary to leave flowers as a tribute and as a sign of respect. But officials have asked well-meaning people to stop filling parks with marmalade sandwiches and Paddington Bear stuffies... bah, humbug! Here’s what you need to know.
According to The Cut, the Royal Parks released guidelines to explicitly note what items people are permitted to bring to the floral-tribute sites at The Green Park and Hyde Park.
The guidelines also clearly state a very specific request for what not to leave: “non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears or balloons.”
The official guidelines didn’t address the loveable, fuzzy, three-foot-tall bear by name, but essentially, they’re telling people to stop filling the Royal Parks with Paddington Bear stuffies and marmalade sandwiches. They might seem like super random trinkets to leave for the late Queen but it’s a tribute that plays back to a sketch the Queen starred in earlier this year as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
An official with the Royal Parks did address the bears and sandwiches directly when speaking with BBC. “There are enough Paddingtons and marmalade sandwiches in the parks at the moment, “the presenter said, per The Cut. “So please, feel free to bring flowers but maybe don’t bring any more Paddingtons or marmalade sandwiches — for now.”
The Royal Parks are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to pay respects to the late Queen. There are other rules that the Royal Parks issue for leaving trinkets in the parks as a sign of respect.
For example, the officials have asked that flowers left are not covered by plastics unless it’s biodegradable. “Removing the wrapping will aid the longevity of the flowers and will assist in subsequent composting which will start between one week and a fortnight after the date of the funeral,” the guidelines state.
Stuffed bears aren’t biodegradable and might cause an issue should it rain, and they all get wet. While marmalade sandwiches are biodegradable (and delicious!) there’s been some people raising concerns about attracting rats and bugs to the Royal Parks with food so readily available.