ROYAL TAMBO TEDDY
PRINCE Harry and the Duchess of Sussex were presented with a small and cuddly piece of the outback on their visit to Queensland: a famous Tambo Teddy for their first child, due in April.
The bear has become a traditional gift for heads of state, with a Tambo Teddy also given to the children of Prince William and Kate.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the gift was also a way for Harry and Meghan to remember their time in Australia, learning first-hand about how people here have been coping with the drought.
“Tambo Teddies are proof positive of the resilience of Queenslanders and how they overcome tough times, backing themselves and an Australian made product,” she said.
“Twenty-five years ago, the tiny community of Tambo was again in the grip of drought and locals came up with the idea of making teddy bears, crafted from 100% woollen sheepskin, to create more employment in the town.
“The cottage industry venture has been an outstanding success. Orders come from all over to purchase a cuddly gift, lovingly handmade in outback Queensland.
“All my nieces and my nephew love their Tambo Teddys,” the Premier said. “The little woollen bears can take a lot of cuddling and wear and tear and I’m sure Harry and Meghan’s first child will give it just as much love and affection.”
Co-owner of Tambo Teddies, Alison Shaw said it was an incredible privilege, not just for her business, but for the entire town.
“It’s really exciting for us, because we couldn’t believe a Tambo Teddy had been selected again as a gift for the royals.
“One was given to Will and Kate a number of years ago, and again, the profile it has given to Tambo and to outback Queensland this time is excellent.
“The coverage really has been fantastic.”
Ms Shaw said the whole process of making another royal bear had been a thrill.
“The Premier called us and ordered this one specifically for Harry and Meghan, and it was a real honour.
“We name each bear after a farming property in the Tambo district, and this one for the Duke and Duchess has been named Stirling Downs Sussex,” she said.
More than just a cute and cuddly friend, Ms Shaw said every Tambo Teddy carried a message.
“This business started out of adversity in the drought and now, 25 years later, we are still going strong, providing local jobs, and are growing to take advantage of the digital age.
“Through our story, we show the resilience we’ve had as a town, through wool crises and drought,” she said.
Since 1993, around 45,500 hand-made teddies have come out of Tambo.
ROYAL GIFT: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex received a Tambo Teddy (inset) as a gift from Queensland.