Lost toy monkey gets VIP treatment from Buckingham Palace staff

Toy accidentally left behind by Australian student

By Rory Sullivan, CNN
Copyright 2019 CNN

A toy monkey left at Buckingham Palace has been repatriated to an Australian kindergarten, following a letter from students asking for its return.

LONDON - A toy monkey left at Buckingham Palace has been repatriated to an Australian kindergarten, following a letter from students asking for its return.

Savannah Hart, a 5-year-old pupil at Woodside Preschool in south Australia, had taken Harriet -- one of her school's six traveling toy monkeys -- on vacation around Europe when she accidentally left her behind at the Queen's London residence on August 13.

After returning home, Savannah teamed up with her classmates to write a letter to the Queen, saying they "would dearly like her (Harriet) to return to Woodside to share her adventures."

Within a week, the preschool heard via email that Buckingham Palace staff had found the toy monkey. They said she had been busy eating scones and promised to send her back after photographing her at work around the palace.

Staff also packed a children's book called "Does The Queen Wear Her Crown In Bed?" and a new toy, Rex the corgi, to accompany Harriet on the long journey home.

Tash Hortle, a teacher at Woodside Preschool, praised Buckingham Palace staff for all their help, telling CNN: "It's beautiful, all the effort the workers went to to get her back to us.

"The look on her (Savannah's) face when she opened the box was priceless. She was so happy to see her (Harriet) returned."

Hortle said Harriet "does get up to a little bit of mischief."

During nine years of adventures around the world, the toy was stolen by a dog on a beach in Fiji and left on a train in Melbourne. An upcoming trip to Government House in Adelaide will be Harriet's final journey before retirement.

A Royal Collection Trust spokesperson told CNN in a statement: "We aim to give every visitor to Buckingham Palace a memorable experience and after we had found Harriet the monkey near the Family Pavilion, she spent some time helping out the Visitor Services team before heading home.

"We hope Harriet enjoyed telling Rex the corgi about her adventures on the journey back to Australia."

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.