What A Bevy Of Paddington Bears Have Been Up To At Buckingham Palace

Paddington Bear and the late Queen Elizabeth II have a connection that goes back decades. In 1986, author Michael Bond had his signature character visit Buckingham Palace in book form for "Paddington at the Palace," per Stylist. Twenty years later, Paddington journeyed to the palace to participate in festivities for the queen's 80th birthday. Most famously, the beloved bear co-starred with Elizabeth in a delightful sketch celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.

Just a few months later, as the world was grieving the queen's heartbreaking death, people turned to Paddington for comfort. "That was the final image of the Queen for many people — that's what they remember, and so they associate her with Paddington," Karen Jankel, Bond's daughter, explained to the BBC. During the period of state mourning, numerous stuffed Paddington toys were left in honor of the queen at tribute gardens. While Royal Parks suggested mourners stop leaving the bears, they told the Daily Mail at the time, "We will store any teddies and artefacts that have been left and will work closely with our partners to agree what we do with them over the next few months with discretion and sensitivity."

By mid-October, the royal website announced that Queen consort Camilla would handle the Paddington bears by donating over 1,000 of the cuddly toys to Barnardo's children's charity. But before the Paddington bears leave for their new homes, the royals shared photos highlighting their stay at the royal residences.

Paddington bears on the banister and in the royal library

The royal family posted photos of the Paddington bears on their official Twitter account. One Paddington balanced on the banister of a Buckingham Palace staircase, while another sat on a sofa underneath a collection of paintings. One bear browsed the titles at Clarence House's library, while a group of bears waited patiently at the door with their suitcase. "We've had a lovely stay at Clarence House and Buckingham Palace (doing our best to keep out of mischief...) Looking forward to arriving at our new homes next week!" said the post.

The royals also shared a video documenting the bears being collected from the tribute gardens and taking a spin through a washing machine to get spruced up. Additional shots showed the bears cozying up by a royal fire and peeking out a window.

According to Royal.uk, Queen consort Camilla will accompany the bears to Barnardo's Bow Nursery on November 24. The Paddington bears will be presented to the children during a teddy bears picnic event. Camilla will be joined by Karen Jankel, daughter of Paddington author Michael Bond, along with actors Hugh Bonneville and Madeleine Harris, who starred in the Paddington movie.

"We are honoured to be able to give homes to the teddies that people left in [Queen Elizabeth's] memory," Lynn Perry MBE, chief executive of Barnardo's, told The Telegraph. "We promise to look after these bears who will be well-loved and bring joy to the children we support."