Helen Mirren and Oliver Burton backstage at the Gielgud Theatre in London. (Facebook)
Helen Mirren is royally awesome.
When the 67-year-old actress learned that a young cancer patient's dying wish ― to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace ― couldn't be granted due to the monarch's busy schedule, the Oscar winner happily stepped in.
Currently reprising her Oscar-winning role as the Queen of England for the play "The Audience" on London's West End, Mirren invited 10-year-old Oliver Burton, who has Down syndrome and has been battling cancer for much of his life, to the Gielgud Theatre to take in a performance of her show and then visit backstage for a tea party.
Ollie also left with a title. Before heading out with his family to his waiting stretch limo, "Queen Mirren" knighted him with her hand.
"Our incredibly brave Ollie has Tea with The Queen," the National/Regional Children's Tumor Leukaemia and Cancer Trust posted on Facebook, along with some photos of the fun. They described the day as "magical" for the boy and his family.
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His mother, Catherine Burton, agreed. In an interview with the Leicester Mercury she said, "Dame Helen was brilliant. She stayed in character the whole time and spent a lot of time talking to Oliver and drawing him out of himself. She signed his British flag, which he waves all the time. Even now, if you ask him who he met recently, he smiles and waves the flag. He believes he met the real Queen and that's fine by us.
"We were treated like royalty for a day," she continued. "It has provided so many memories for friends and family. It gave us all such a lift."
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