Tags: helen mirren | dying | boy | tea

Helen Mirren, Dying Boy Have Tea; She's the Queen, He's Thrilled

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:30 PM

By Alexandra Ward

Helen Mirren recently granted a 10-year-old boy dying of leukemia his final wish by visiting him in character as Queen Elizabeth II.

Doctors have given Oliver Burton, of Leicester, England, just weeks to live after discovering cancer in his body for the third time. Burton, who also has Down's syndrome, wanted more than anything to fulfill his bucket list by meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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When a meeting with the monarch herself proved impossible, the National Children's Tumour Leukaemia Cancer Trust arranged a meeting with Mirren, 67, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the royal in 2006's "The Queen." Mirren is also currently playing the Queen in the West End stage performance "The Audience."


Burton and his family were picked up by a stretch limo and escorted to a performance of "The Audience." Afterwards, the Burtons joined the "queen" backstage for tea and biscuits.

"She stayed in character for the whole thing," James Browne, Oliver's father, told the Daily Mail. "Oliver thought she was the real Queen, and well, that's good enough for us. She was really lovely. She did the whole thing — had a butler there, was dressed in costume, and did it all properly for him."

Mirren even "knighted" the dying boy.

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"She knighted him and told everyone that they had to call him Sir Oliver," his father said. "He had a brilliant day. He took his British flag and got her to sign it and just waved and waved it all day."

Burton's parents are doing everything they can to make their son's final days memorable. They aim to raise £2,500 (U.S. $3,758) for Oliver's Happy Memories and Wishes Fund.

Related stories:

The Queen Expresses Sadness Over Thatcher Death

Skit Director: Queen Volunteered for Olympics Bond Spoof

UK: Queen Hospitalized over Stomach Illness

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