Authorities in the UK have asked people mourning Queen Elizabeth II to stop leaving non-floral tributes at designated tribute sites—specifically, Paddington Bear toys, balloons, and other Paddington-related items, including teapots and marmalade sandwiches. In a video skit recorded for the queen's 70th jubilee celebrations earlier this year, she drank tea with the bear and told him that she, too, carries a marmalade sandwich everywhere, CBS reports. Officials say the toy bears left among floral tributes at Buckingham Palace and neighboring Green Park are going moldy and the sandwiches are having a "negative impact on the park’s wildlife," per the AP.
"They are suggesting that there are enough Paddingtons and marmalade sandwiches in the parks at the moment so please feel free to bring flowers but maybe don't bring any more Paddingtons or marmalade sandwiches for now," said BBC presenter Sally Nugent. Twitter users joked about rats and wasps descending on the area, BuzzFeed reports. Some commenters urged mourners to donate the bread and marmalade to food banks instead.
In a statement, Royal Parks said people should only leave organic and compostable material, not items like "teddy bears or balloons," though cards are acceptable and will be removed for storage elsewhere. Royal Parks asked mourners to remove plastic wrapping from flowers, which 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." (Read more Queen Elizabeth II stories.)