Helen Mirren dresses as Queen, has tea with dying boy

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com  |  May 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM
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In a charming and heartwarming gesture, Helen Mirren has helped grant the wish of a dying 10-year -old boy by sitting down to tea with him dressed as the Queen.

Oliver Burton has been battling leukemia for most of his young life and recently was given just a few weeks to live. He had put a visit to Buckingham Palace on his bucket list, but when the Queen -- the real one -- said she wouldn't be able to meet him, Mirren stepped in to save the day.

Mirren is in the midst of a West End run playing Her Madgesty in "The Audience", and with the help of the National Children’s Tumour Leukaemia Cancer Trust, she was able to arrange for Oliver and his mother to see the show and meet her backstage.

"She stayed in character for the whole thing," Oliver's dad, James Browne, gushed to the Daily Mail about the meeting. "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."}

Oliver even got to meet the Queen's famous corgis, or at least the animal actors portraying them in the show.

"She knighted him and told everyone that they had to call him Sir Oliver," Browne said. "He had a brilliant day."

Browne said he had heard about Mirren shouting at some drummers on the street and worried she would be stern, but "she was really lovely."

Browne and Oliver's mother, Catherine decided to take him out of the hospital and care for him at home after doctors said a relapse in his cancer was incurable. Oliver also has Downs Syndrome, which makes his body particularly sensitive to medicines, which would likely do more harm than good.

Instead, Oliver's parents decided to help him create a bucket list and fill his final moments with happy memories and are raising money in the effort.

Mirren has a history playing British queens: she's played both Queen Elizabeth I (in the television series "Elizabeth") and Queen Elizabeth II (in "The Queen" as well as "The Audience") as well as Queen Charlotte (in "The Madness of King George").

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