A sketch referring to the Queen’s surprise tea with Paddington Bear has, like the touching film sequence itself, taken the world by storm.
East Yorkshire artist Eleanor Tomlinson, from Willerby, near Hull, was among the millions of people who watched Saturday night’s Platinum Party at the Palace, a major event in the four-day celebration of the Queen’s 70-year reign. It opened with a witty and heartwarming short film showing the queen sharing tea with Paddington, discussing the benefits of having jam sandwiches on standby and then beating the beat of Queen’s We Will Rock You with teaspoons on their cups and saucers.
Currently on a break in the Dales with her mother, Eleanor brought her pens and paint with her, and while Sunday’s platinum competition was underway, she decided to outline a design “as a little fun” to mark the end of the anniversary memorial service, just before the monarch stepped out onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Titled Jubilee Ma’amalade Tea, it shows a rear-view image of the Queen, hand in hand with Paddington, and one of her faithful corgis following a length of red, white and blue bundle, as if walking away after the festivities , a jam sandwich left on the ground in their wake.
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“It did not occur to me at all that this would be picked up as it has been,” said Eleanor of Willerby, who runs Eleanor Tomlinson Art. “I think the movie about the Queen with Paddington was my highlight of the anniversary and for me captured all aspects of why we love our dear queen. She takes her job seriously, but not herself.
“It only took me a few hours from the time I had sketched it to the completion of the design – when the queen came out on the balcony dressed in the beautiful lively green, I had to.” As soon as she posted the picture of her creation on social media, around 6.30pm on Sunday night, Eleanor’s website went into overdrive, apparently having received very deep repercussions from people.
“I could not believe it,” she said. “The reaction has been overwhelming. It was never my intention that it should be a print or a card for sale.”
After one of Eleanor’s regular collectors asked for the original, the artist decided to offer 70 signed and numbered prints in limited editions – they were all sold out in less than 50 minutes. She is now in the stage of offering a pre-ordered unlimited edition in open edition and has “hundreds” of requests to return this week.
“My phone has not stopped pinging, I can not keep up with it,” she said. “The reaction has been so positive and nice, it’s the best problem to have as an artist. It’s all you ever dream of putting something out there that people take to their hearts and show their love and support for.
“I always take my pens and paint with me when I can, except for a day out, because you can bet your life that if I do not have them, I would like to pick them up. I sat on the couch and sketched the design on my knee, then moved to a small table to finish it off with my watercolors.
“I think because I did not intend it for sale and it was not a commission or something, it has a certain quality in it, it is looser and more personal in some way. I have got so many messages about it, I’m really grateful to everyone. ”
A follower on Twitter said: “What a beautiful tribute to HMTQ. I’m still in Jubilee mode and I’m on the other side of the pond. It was a great experience, once in a lifetime. I’ll miss getting up early up to see the festivities. “
Another said: “Great drawing and colors, it’s such a wonderful end to a fabulous weekend”. A third added: “Goodness. Talk about making my heart hurt.”
One post said, “This work of art should be put on a stamp! It’s ingenious and nice.” Another said, “Omg, how gripping, I love it.”
Another tweet read: “It encapsulates the balance between reigning monarch and human. Perfect. #Thank you for sharing.”
Eleanor said she hoped her customers would be happy to know how much they support East Yorkshire people with their orders. “I’m a one-woman band, from the art to the packaging; my printer is 10 minutes down the road in Cottingham and my map and paper are made by GF Smith’s in Hull. People support businesses of all sizes in this area, which is wonderful. “