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Prince Andrew used to play hide and seek with his teddy bears.

Prince Andrew played games with his bears

Prince Andrew played games with his bears

The 61-year-old royal has a huge collection of stuffed animals and although his staff are provided with a strict list of where each one should be positioned, the rules could be broken when he was going out for the night as one of his maids would be asked to conceal one of his furry friends somewhere “unexpected” so he could stumble across it later.

Former housekeeper Janette McGowan – who worked at Buckingham Palace from 1999 to 2000 – told The Sun newspaper: “It was a little game he would play with his maid.

“She would hide one of the teddy bears somewhere unexpected, like the bathroom cabinet.

“When he came back to the Palace he would have to try and find it.

“It was a bit odd but it was very tongue in cheek.

“He used to find it very funny. His regular maid said it was just something she always did.”

Former maid Charlotte Briggs revealed earlier this week that staff at the royal residence were given a day’s training on how to carefully care for Andrew’s bears after it emerged those looking after Andrew’s quarters were given a laminated guide on the positioning of the toys.

She said: As soon as I got the job, I was told about the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wanted them.

“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.”

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