'Please look after this bear': How Paddington Bear creator's epitaph is coming to life during Queen's funeral
LONDON, ENGLAND: The iconic Paddington Bear has taken the lead role in tributes to Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 96 on September 8. Royal fans were specifically touched after the beloved children’s character paid tribute to the late monarch on his Twitter account writing, “Thank you Ma’am for everything.” The tweet has received more than one million likes and 160K retweets.
As per DailyMail, both King Charles and Prince William were “delighted to spot Paddington Bear” among the mourners on September 17. They greeted hundreds, including Yela Alvarado, who had been standing in a queue with a Paddington Bear brought all the way from her native Peru when they arrived at Albert Embankment. Nanny Yela, 62, wept as she met the King - and told how he admired the bear, which hails from Peru in Michael Bond’s novels. Commenting on the creator coming to life, the daughter of Paddington creator Michael Bond, Karen Jankel, 64, said as quoted by DailyMail, "I think it is sad but on the other hand I can understand with it's difficult because there are so many of them. It is very lovely but there are so many of them. I'm quite sure that charities could benefit from collecting them but someone has got to go and do it. I think my father would have been overwhelmed by the enormity of it. It's very humbling and rather lovely that Paddington has become so associated with the Queen, thanks of course to the recent short film. That's how many people will remember her, laughing and joking and of course the fact we all learned what the Queen kept in her handbag."
Who was Michael Bond?
Bond, who died at the age of 91 in the year 2017, was buried in Paddington Old Cemetery, close to where he lived. The epitaph on his gravestone reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you," as per Wikipedia.
Prior to this, he published his first book, ‘A Bear Called Paddington,’ in 1958. A total of 30 million copies were sold worldwide, with the iconic bear also starring in two feature films -- 'Paddington' in 2014 and 'Paddington 2' in 2017.
The famous sequence, which was filmed as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year, BBC's 'Party at the Palace,' was a viral hit around the world. In the video, Paddington revealed to the Queen how he made sure he always had his favorite treat on him, lifting up his red hat to reveal a marmalade sandwich. The Queen then delighted him by saying she shared his love of the snack and took out her own from her handbag. Paddington concludes by saying, “Happy Jubilee Ma’am. And thank you. For everything.” To which the Queen responds by saying, “That’s very kind.”