Oliver Burton is a 10-year-old boy who has been battling cancer for several years. For his dying wish, Burton, who has Down syndrome, wanted to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, the Queen was unavailable, but thankfully, Academy Award-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren stepped in to save the day.
Mirren is in London currently starring as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” which means the actress was more than ready to fill in for the real Queen. Mirren invited Burton to the Gielgud Theatre for a performance and a spot of tea backstage after the show. According to reports, “(f)ootmen catered to them, and there was a surprise guest appearance by the corgis that appear in the show” with Mirren, which made the experience even more realistic for the boy.
Burton’s mother raved about Mirren, saying she “stayed in character the whole time and spent a lot of time talking to Oliver and drawing him out of himself.” She even signed a British flag for Oliver, which he now waves around all the time! “We were treated like royalty for a day. It has provided so many memories for friends and family. It gave us all such a lift,” continued Oliver’s mom. We know Mirren isn’t the real Queen of England, but we think even the Queen would approve of her royally awesome performance.
We love that so many people, including the band Imagine Dragons and the SoulPancake team, are stepping up to help kids with cancer. If you want to follow Mirren’s lead and help a child fighting cancer, check out the action widgets below.
Buy Zach's Song
Buy Zach Sobiech's song and all of the proceeds go directly to the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
Tyler Robinson Foundation
Learn more about the Tyler Robinson Foundation.