No bears or balloons as tributes to Queen Elizabeth please

Paddington is an especially popular tribute because of a video released during the queen's Platinum Jubilee in June. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Amid the outpouring of grief after the death of Queen Elizabeth II at 96, Britons have laid many a tribute in parks and outside palace gates in England. But the charity responsible for all the royal acres in the land has a plea: Bouquets of flowers are ever so lovely, but please skip the teddy bears and balloons.

The charity, Royal Parks, asks well-wishers to bring only "organic or compostable material" to the designated site for tributes to the queen, in Green Park near Buckingham Palace.

Mourners have already contributed stuffed Paddington Bears, a marmalade sandwich in a plastic bag, a tea set, rubber ducks shaped like the queen and plastic flamingos outside the palace, all in honour of the late monarch.

Paddington is an especially popular tribute because of a video released around the time of the queen's Platinum Jubilee in June, in which the queen and the bear have tea and discuss keeping marmalade sandwiches on hand for emergencies. (He keeps one in his hat; she, supposedly, kept one in her purse.)

But Royal Parks says mourners should choose their tributes "in the interests of sustainability."

Any form of floral tribute is acceptable, but wrappings should be removed and put in the trash, the charity said.

"Removing the wrapping will aid the longevity of the flowers and will assist in subsequent composting," the charity said.

As for candles, Royal Parks advises: "It will not be possible to light candles in the parks. Lit candles will be extinguished and periodically removed." NYTIMES

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