Paddington Bear had tea with the Queen 70 years after he was first born by author Michael Bond attending the monarch’s coronation at Westminster Abbey
Once upon a time, when Paddington Bear was a wink in the eyes of its creator, Michael Bond, the author was enthroned high in Westminster Abbey at the Queen’s coronation.
Then, as a young BBC crew member on one of his first jobs in television, the beloved late author got a sensational bird’s-eye view of the young princess, who was his own age and swore her solemn oath.
Just five years later, he published a book of fairy tales about a Peruvian refugee bear – and 70 years later, Her Majesty had tea with the bear.
It was a wonderful quality of synchronicity that made the delightful surprise sequence between the Queen and a computer-generated Paddington, which aired Saturday night before the party at the Palace, so moving for Bond’s family.
Not least because the footage, which shows the Queen’s sense of humor, came as a surprise to everyone – except for his daughter Karen Jankel, 63, who had struggled to keep the secret for three months.
She explains: “I was contacted by one of the film producers. It was a courtesy if my father had been alive he would have been told.
“Just before that, I told my family that they have to watch the beginning of the party at the palace. It was a very hard secret to keep. It was so brilliant, the queen was brilliant.
“The greatest honor of all. A close member of our family has now had tea with her,” she laughs.
“It was as if my father had written it, it retained Paddington’s gentle humor. The Queen seems to share his dry, quiet sense of humour, that wink.
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“And Paddington’s words at the end, thanking the Queen for everything, were really special.”
Michael Bond wrote and published Paddington stories up until 2017, the year of his death at the age of 91. He met the Queen when he received his OBE in 1997.
But it was at her coronation that he got his first personal glimpse of the monarch.
During World War II he worked as an assistant engineer for the BBC and then served in the British Army.
He returned to the company, becoming a cinematographer and working on shows like Blue Peter while writing children’s stories.
The image of him surveying the Queen’s coronation could be straight out of a Paddington tale, with the hapless bear in his place – possibly about to drop a jam sandwich on the King’s head…
Karen says her father would have loved Saturday night’s skit, in which Paddington had tea with Her Majesty before he and the Queen exchanged views on where they keep their trusty jam sandwiches. “My dad was very respectful of the royal family and proud of his OBE and CBE,” says Karen.
“His favorite part would have been the jam sandwich,” she adds.
“We all wanted to know what the Queen keeps in her handbag. It was done perfectly.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queen-showed-dry-quiet-sense-27163648 Queen showed off her "dry, quiet sense of humor" in a heartwarming Paddington skit