Like many little school girls, Savannah Hart was given the chance to take home her class “pet” — in this case, a sweetly tattered toy monkey named Harriet.
What happened next could be the subject of a children’s story book: the 5-year-old from Australia took Harriet on a summer trip to Buckingham Palace when things went awry.
While visiting Queen Elizabeth’s home, the little girl misplaced the toy, and her family assumed assumed that Harriet would be forever stuck at the bottom of the palace’s lost property collection. But after staff at Savannah’s school, Woodside Preschool in Australia, wrote a letter to the Queen to see if the well-worn Harriet could be located, tenacious palace employees set to work to find it.
Aided by the letter and photos snapped during the monkey’s tour around the U.K. with Savannah’s family, Harriet was found and returned to Savannah. But Harriet didn’t come back alone on the 9,000 mile journey from London to Australia — the monkey was also accompanied by Rex, a stuffed corgi sent from the palace.
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Prior to leaving the U.K., Harriet even spent some time helping out with palace tours and was given the royal treatment.
“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,” said a spokesperson for the Royal Collection, which runs the visitor experience at Buckingham Palace over the summer. “We hope Harriet enjoyed telling Rex the corgi about her adventures on the journey back to Australia.”