Prince Andrew's staff spent a whole day being trained to look after his teddy bear collection properly
The 61-year-old royal "absolutely loves" his collection of 72 cuddly toys and insisted they were arranged on his bed in a precise order every day, much to the bemusement of Buckingham Palace servants, his former maid Charlotte Briggs has revealed.
28 January 2022
She told The Sun newspaper: "As soon as I got the job, I was told about the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wanted them.
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"I even had a day's training. Everything had to be just right. It was so peculiar.
"It was so odd. After all, he was a grown man who had served in the Falklands.
"But he absolutely loved the ¬teddies and was very clear about how he wanted them arranged."
Charlotte had to "mess about" with the toys - the majority of which were dressed as sailors - every day and admitted it was the most "bizarre" aspect of her job
At night, the maid had to move the teddies from the bed, with each one having a pre-allocated spot, with the smaller ones neatly stacked in an unused fireplace and others placed at the foot of the bed or other spots in the room, with Andrew's two favourites seated on mahogany thrones at his bedside.
She said: "The teddies had to be in a particular order on his four-poster bed, from the biggest at the back, down to the smallest at the front.
"All 72 of them. Each had to be carefully positioned. They were old-fashioned teddy bears - the Steiff ones - and nearly all of them had sailor suits on and hats.
"It took me half an hour to arrange them - most bizarre thing to be paid for.
"Then at bedtime I had to take all the teddies off and arrange them around the room.
"They each had a set place. We had to stack the smaller ones in an unused fireplace, again in size order, to make them look pretty.
"His two favourite bears sat on two thrones either side of the bed. The others would sit at the foot of the bed on the floor."
Although Charlotte left her job in 1997, the Duke of York is believed to still be particular about the placement of his bears, although the collection has been scaled back in recent years.
A laminated sheet is given to maids to instruct them to "place one small teddy & cushion in the turn down" for Andrew, and explains how he sleeps with five stuffed toys, including two hippos and a black panther.
The guide states: "When making the bed, place the teddy & cushion next to the teddy on the lefthand side with the necklaces on."
In a misspelled message in capital letters, it also states: "Do not loose the teddy & cushion!!"