The Royal Parks has issued an unusual request following Queen Elizabeth’s death. “We would prefer visitors not to bring non-floral objects/artefacts such as teddy bears or balloons.” The charity which oversees eight historic parks in London, is referring to the number of Paddington Bears and marmalade sandwiches that have been left at tribute sites around the city. “We’d prefer that marmalade sandwiches and other foodstuffs were not left because of the negative impact to the park’s wildlife,” a Royal Parks spokeswoman said. While Paddington Bear is just as much of a British institution as the Queen, the two appeared in an adorable sketch earlier this year for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
The delightful video quickly went viral. Mourners who have traveled from all over began leaving little stuffed Paddington Bears and marmalade sandwiches, the character’s favorite sandwich, in tribute to the Queen. While meant in good faith, Royal Parks has said that too many stuffed toys has become issue, as well as the sandwiches which have started to grow mold. Despite the heartfelt messages – “A marmalade sandwich for your heavenly travels! Thank you Ma’am.” – the charity is strongly urging those who want to honor the queen to leave behind something that is biodegradable.
In the interests of sustainability, we ask visitors to only lay organic or compostable material. The public will be asked to remove all wrapping from floral tributes and place these in the bins provided. 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.
In a statement to MailOnline, Royal Parks stated that their priority was taking care of the large memorial at Green Park Floral Tribute Garden. The first step is discouraging people from leaving anymore teddy bears and sandwiches. As for what’s already been laid out, Royal Parks said the items will be picked up and either composted or saved for a later date. “The flowers themselves will be removed from the Floral Tribute Garden seven to 14 days after the funeral and will be composted in Kensington Gardens, with the compost then being used on shrubberies and landscaping projects across the Royal Parks.” “We will store any teddies and artifacts 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,” the organization said.