A pink papyrus flamingo, a marmalade sandwich and a rubber duck in the shape of the Queen were among the items left in cards and flowers at a memorial site Queen Elizabeth II in London.
Palace officials restricted access to the gates of Buckingham Palace, instead asking mourners to bring their cards and flowers to a dedicated area at nearby Green Park.
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On Sundays, hundreds of people at once can be seen going through the gates of the memorial flower garden to add their bouquets and cards to the piles that crisscross the area. However, some people have left more than flowers.
Some have left cards and stuffed animals with characters from the children’s book Paddington Bear. One even placed a labeled marmalade sandwich in a ziploc bag along with the toy, in a nod to the video the queen shot with Paddington earlier this year.
In that video, which was released around the time of the Platinum Year in June, the queen and the bear drink tumultuous tea and discuss their love of marmalade bread.
Mother-daughter duo Lorraine and Angela Payne, from the West Midlands town of Nuneaton, chose a Paddington Bear card to honor the video, which they say showcases the queen’s personality and humour.
“It was poignant and a lovely thing happened,” Lorraine Payne said as she and her daughter hung the cards on the tree.
Many of the flowers were accompanied by children’s drawings, long letters and heartfelt words of thanks. Paynes said theirs was a simple message to thank the queen “for her service to Britain and the Commonwealth and the world.”
Corgi dogs and horses – two of the queen’s favorite gifts – were popular themes among the gifts, as were the monarch’s own hand-drawn, painted and even crocheted prints. dying. Other items, including black and white baseball caps, flamingos and red paper lanterns, have less obvious connections to the royal family.
Canadian Kersten and Charlie Samolczyk, native Torontowas painted onto one of the many large Canadian flags that have been left at the site.
The couple who arrived to order a bouquet of flowers with their two children said the setting at the park was “astonishing and a bit overwhelming”.
Charlie Samolczyk said: “The sheer mass of people and flowers, you can’t help but be moved.
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Like many at the site, the couple, who live in the British county of Surrey, feel a personal connection to the Royal family. They got a close look at the Queen at a horse racing event a few years ago and once attended a garden party with King Charles III when he was Prince of Wales. At the time, Kersten Samolczyk was impressed by “how friendly he was with people and how engaged he was in his conversations”.
The park management organization is trying to get rid of gifts left at the site.
“For the sake of sustainability, we ask visitors to order only organic and compostable materials,” Royal Parks writes on its website.
Workers were at the entrance with scissors on Sunday, helping people remove plastic packages from their bouquets before they entered.
A black and white sign inside the portal warns that gifts and other tokens cannot leave the site.
But the presence of items like a Queen Elizabeth rubber duck, corgi lawn ornaments and a purple velvet coat suggest that message may be too little, too late.
Parks Royal said the flowers remaining at the final site will be processed and aged for use in the gardens, while the tags will be removed and stored off-site.
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