Mourners Urged to Stop Leaving Marmalade Sandwiches in Tribute to Queen

Mourners and well-wishers paying their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II have been urged by officials at The Royal Parks to refrain from leaving nonperishable tributes to the late monarch.

Particularly popular in recent days have been tributes including toys of the character Paddington Bear and wrapped marmalade sandwiches in reference to the famous bear.

Since the monarch's death at the age of 96 on Thursday, social media has been flooded with links between the classic character and the late queen.

Paddington Bear and Queen Elizabeth
In this combination image, a Paddington Bear teapot is seen with floral tributes left at the Norwich Gate outside the Sandringham Estate in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on September 11, 2022, and an inset image of Queen Elizabeth II in a video with Paddington Bear shown during the Platinum Party at the Palace at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2022. The Royal Parks has urged mourners to stop leaving marmalade sandwiches and toy Paddingtons as tributes to the late queen. getty/bbc

The fictional bear and the queen have been particularly linked since a 2022 skit was aired on BBC television during the Platinum Party at the Palace in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. In the sketch, the queen appeared opposite a CGI version of Paddington Bear voiced by Ben Whishaw.

As the two beacons of British culture sit together for a cup of tea, Paddington reveals that he always keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat before the queen reveals that she keeps one in her handbag, too.

At the end of the sketch, Paddington says: "Thank you, Ma'am, for everything," a clip that has struck a particular chord in recent days following the queen's death.

Thousands have flooded to the royal parks and palaces in recent days to offer their respects and leave tributes to the U.K.'s longest-serving monarch, but BBC News reported Monday morning that members of the public were being urged to stop leaving the stuffed toys and sandwiches in tribute.

"They [The Royal Parks] are suggesting that there are enough Paddingtons and marmalade sandwiches at the parks at the moment, so please, feel free to bring flowers, but maybe don't bring any more Paddingtons or marmalade sandwiches," reported BBC news anchor Sally Nugent.

In a statement on their website, The Royal Parks charity which manages over 5,000 acres of Royal parkland across London, said: "In the interests of sustainability, we ask visitors to only lay organic or compostable material. Non-floral objects/artifacts such as teddy bears or balloons should not be brought."

On Twitter, people were quick to share their reactions to the sandwiches and teddy bears being left alongside floral tributes.

Some were delighted by the subtle gesture; one mourner wrote: "People leaving Marmalade sandwiches for The Queen, with a note 'For later.' How heartbreaking and joyous is that."

But others were left enraged by the tributes. One Twitter user wrote: "Idk who needs to hear this but the Queen doesn't want your marmalade sandwiches."

"Who thought that leaving marmalade sandwiches as memorials for the queen was cute?" asked another frustrated commenter: "They'll go moldy [and] attract rats way before they've been cleared up."

Another Twitter user suggested there is a better use for the sandwiches and wrote: "If you're wanting to leave marmalade sandwiches in memory of the Queen maybe drop off the ingredients at your local food bank and know you did a good thing today," while others agreed: "Instead of leaving marmalade sandwiches as Queen tributes please give them to the many homeless."