Helen Mirren plays Queen for dying boy

2013-05-22 15:20
London - Oliver Burton, a boy from Leicester, England, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just three years old, had his dying wish fulfilled when Dame Helen Mirren dressed up as the Queen and had tea with the ten-year-old, reports The Sun.

Oliver, who also suffers from down-syndrome, was given just weeks or months to live and his parent's Catherine, 29 and James, 32, have since brought him home from hospital determined to make the most of his final days.

The Queen was too busy

Oliver's dying wish was to have tea with the Queen, but when the National Children's Tumour Leukaemia Cancer Trust wrote to the Queen she said sadly she could not meet everyone who asked for a royal appointment.

Not willing to give up, the charity then wrote to Helen Mirren who was happy to play "queen" for the day and went above and beyond to give Oliver a special day that he would always remember.

Dame Helen paid for Oliver and his family to watch her show The Audience, escorted to the theatre in a limousine and took them backstage for tea and biscuits where Oliver met the show’s corgis.

The actress even took the time to knight Oliver, giving him the official title of Sir.

'She stayed in character'

"She stayed in character for the whole thing. Oliver thought she was the real Queen, and well, that's good enough for us," said James Browne, Oliver’s father.

"It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet such a brave young man," Mirren later told The Sun.

Andi Daw, the families support worker spoke to The Sun newspaper saying: "I expected it to be two minutes in and out, but it was not at all.

"They had tea and cakes, they had the corgis, and they really took care of them. The theatre could not have been more helpful, we really could not fault them.

"It has made an enormous difference to Catherine and her family. She even said she has woken up the last few days feeling lifted. It's a memory that she will hold for the rest of her life.

"Even when Ollie is not around anymore they have got something they can look back on. It really was Ollie's biggest wish to meet the Queen so it was absolutely huge."


  • Nettie Hough - 2013-05-22 15:44

    And this is the way you should treat your subjects, Queen Elizabeth Ma'm ... specially a dying wish of a child. What are you doing with your days after all? Counting all your trillions of blessings?

      Gollum - 2013-05-22 20:47

      In this pic Mirren doesn't even look remotely like the queen. If a kid's greatest wish was to meet the queen I'm pretty sure he recognised it wasn't the real one and just played along knowing everyone (except the real queen) had his best interests at heart. Besides Mirren's smiling. Don't think I've ever seen the queen do that.

      Rocco DeWet - 2013-05-22 21:18

      The Queen is not necessarily to blame here. As sad and touching as this story is, it is not unique, and it would quickly have become an expectation from dying subjects, children or otherwise, to meet the Queen. It could have been handled better though. The Queen perhaps could have agreed to see him without advertising it. But you just cannot please everyone.

  • Mark Renton - 2013-05-22 16:33

    NICE ONE DAME HELEN MIRREN!!! Faith in humanity restored!!

  • Chantelle Michael - 2013-05-22 16:36

    i seriously dont understand the function of the royal family. honestly, what do they do besides eat taxpayers money?

  • Stephen Brookes - 2013-05-22 17:17

    It is all just down to national pride / tradition. They will probably end up scrapping the monarchy someday.

  • Cassandra Brompton - 2013-05-22 18:28

    God save the Queen!

  • Ntombi Zulu - 2013-05-22 18:32

    wierd wish for a ten year old

  • Chevon Martin - 2013-05-22 18:50

    Makes no difference to her who she doesnt see, being born one of the luckiest people, but to this boy,who hasnt known anything other than his unfortunate life, it could have made all the difference in the world. Even with her title and fame, some things money just cant buy. We will all be judged equally...

  • Trina Perry - 2013-05-22 19:15

    Oliver really did meet the Queen.

      Nettie Hough - 2013-05-22 21:00

      Indeed, it turned out he was granted his wish after all

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