In a video that has made the news, Queen Elizabeth II can be seen hosting Paddington Bear for tea at Buckingham Palace. The Queen has been applauded for being a sport and having participated in the skit, in which Paddington Bear is an animated character.

The video shows the Queen and Paddington bear sitting across from each other. A teapot and teacups are placed on the table between them. “Thank you for having me,” says Paddington Bear. “I do hope you’re having a lovely Jubilee,” he adds politely. “Tea?” the queen responds. “Oh yes, please,” says Paddington Bear and picks up the teapot, only to drink all of the tea in it from the spout. One of the Queen’s officially clears his throat to hint to Paddington Bear that he has forgotten about the Queen. 

Paddington Bear then realises that he should have served the Queen tea as well. He rushes to pour some into her cup but only a bit comes out. “Never mind,” says the Queen. Soon after, Paddington Bear loses his balance and the teapot wobbles in his hand. Trying to stop it from falling and breaking, he puts his hand on a scone filled with cream to try to maintain his balance. The cream from inside the scone flies and hits the Queen’s official’s face. 

In an attempt to appease the Queen, Paddington Bear pulls out a marmalade sandwich from his hat. "I always keep one for emergencies," he tells her. Opening a black handbag, The Queen pulls out a sandwich, too. "So do I," she says. "I keep mine in here." "For later," she adds.

The official looks out the window at the crowd that has gathered and says “the party is about to start”. Paddington Bear takes off his hat and says “Happy Jubilee, ma’am. And thank you, for everything,” addressing the Queen.

Tea and British culture

Having tea and scones has been a favourite British pastime for years. ‘Taking tea’ has been a big part of aristocratic British culture since the 1660s. King Charles II and his Portuguese wife, Catherine de Braganza, popularised the practice. However, steep prices ensured that tea was reserved for royalty. By the late 19th century, tea had become more affordable. And so, the middle class began to partake in the erstwhile lavish ritual too. The practice of afternoon tea then spread across Britain and even to the US.

The video is a testament to how much the British love their tea, and to the power of humour. It’s also telling of the Queen’s sense of humour. Having gone viral ever since it was shared, the video has won the hearts of many for its humorous portrayal of the Queen’s interaction with Paddington Bear.