We often don't think about what our own dying wish may be, but for 10-year-old Oliver Burton, who was diagnosed with cancer for the third time, his was to meet the Queen Elizabeth II and visit Buckingham Palace. When the real Queen said she couldn't meet him, Dame Helen Mirren stepped in.
The acclaimed actress paid for Oliver and his family to see her show at the West End Theater where she currently plays Queen Elizabeth II in a production of The Audience, had tea with Burton and his family and introduced him to the Corgis in the production… all while staying character!
"She stayed in character for the whole thing. Oliver though she was the real Queen, and well, that's good enough for us," Oliver's father, James Browne said. "She was really lovely. She did the whole thing – had a butler there, was dressed in costume and did it all properly for him. She sat in Oliver's wheelchair and gave him her big chair. She had a glass of Coke together and biscuits and little sandwiches and they ever brought in her Corgis from the show, Coco and Roco."
Mirren concluded the meeting by knighting Burton.
"She knighted him and told everyone that they had to call him Sir Oliver. 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 was first diagnosed with leukemia when he was three. Despite beating the odds twice, his parents were told earlier this month his latest cancer relapse could not be cured and he may have just weeks or months to live. Burton also has Downs Syndrome making his body extra sensitive to medicines. Doctors have said intensive treatment would probably leave him fighting for his life in the hospital.
Burton's parents have determined to make Oliver's final weeks or months as happy as possible. This meeting was arranged when the National Children's Tumor Leukemia Cancer Trust wrote to the Queen who said "she could not meet everyone who asked for a royal appointment." Undeterred, the charity wrote to Mirren who was happy to oblige.
You can read the full story here. Scroll down for a few more pics from the event and don't miss Mirren when she returns to theaters this summer in Monsters University (voicing Dean Hardscrabble) and RED 2!