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King Charles IIIQueen Elizabeth II

YEAR IN REVIEW: How Paddington became an honourary member of the Royal Family in 2022

This has been a monumental year for the British Royal Family. It included a once-in-a-lifetime Platinum Jubilee, the death of the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, and the start of a new reign. However, for many keen royal watchers, the biggest event of the year was a new addition to the Royal Family – Paddington Bear. 

Paddington Bear’s relationship with the British Royal Family is not new. In 1986, Paddington at the Palace was published, following the little Peruvian bear’s adventures at Buckingham Palace. In 2022, Paddington became a lot closer to the royals, though. 

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the first weekend of June featured several large-scale events centred around Buckingham Palace. That included a Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace concert on Saturday, 4 June, with 22,000 spectators joining members of the Royal Family on the Mall. 

The concert kicked off with a special video, with Queen Elizabeth hosting Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea. After Paddington accidentally squishes the cakes, he offers Her Majesty his signature marmalade sandwich, and she confides that she carries one in her Launer handbag, as well. 

Not only was the video sweet and touching, but it was also one of the last times that The Queen was seen publicly before her death. The late Queen kept the video a secret from all her family members so that it would also be a surprise for them at the concert. 

Upon her death in September, thousands of Paddington Bears were left along with marmalade sandwiches and floral tributes on the grounds of Windsor Castle, Sandringham, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and Buckingham Palace. 

The Paddington Bears were collected and cleaned by palace staff. After going on an adventure through Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, Queen Camilla donated the bears to Barnado’s Nursery in November, where children could have a teddy bear picnic. 

Chris Jackson/ Getty Images

One of the most enduring images from The Queen’s passing was artist Elinor Tomlinson’s watercolour and pen drawing of Her Majesty and Paddington walking hand in hand. 

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