Girl with brain tumour sang for the Queen when she was invited to tea

Girl with brain tumour sang for the Queen when she was invited to tea
The Queen drinks tea with seven-year-old Olivia Taylor (Jonathan Brady/PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

A blind schoolgirl with a brain tumour sang a Christmas song and gave the Queen a handmade ring when she was invited to Windsor Castle for tea.

Olivia Taylor, who has been blind since not long after her diagnosis aged 17 months, shouted “hello your majesty” while jumping with excitement when Camilla walked into the White Drawing Room for a private tea with her family.

The seven-year-old also tried her very first cup of tea, which was poured by the Queen – and after a long sip she said “I love tea”, and the Queen replied “oh you love tea, there you are you’ll be able to have tea from now on”.

Olivia Taylor drinking tea with the QueenOlivia has been converted to a tea drinker after visiting the Queen (Jonathan Brady/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

Olivia was invited to Windsor Castle after the Queen learned she had performed with the Bexley Music Primary Choir at Buckingham Palace as part of the pre-recorded King’s Christmas broadcast.

And she gave the Queen a preview during their tea by standing up and singing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer before receiving a round of applause.

Olivia, her four-year-old sister Imogen and their parents Lisa and Matt enjoyed sandwiches – particularly Olivia who asked for more ham ones – scones, Santa cakes and biscuits that were personalised with the girls’ names.

The Queen, who was wearing a red dress, asked Mr and Mrs Taylor if they wanted to take the leftover cake home, adding “because otherwise I’ll eat it” with a laugh.

Mrs Taylor told Camilla how Olivia has been on chemotherapy most of her life after she was diagnosed with a grade one brain tumour but is on a break at the moment and it was “really lovely that this all happened while she is so well”, to which the Queen replied “she’s so happy – and chatty”.

Olivia’s teddy “Corrie” – which she was given around the time of the King’s coronation – had a seat of her own at the table and was also given her own personalised biscuit.

Olivia with her sister Imogen, four, (second left), father Matt (left), and mother Lisa (right) at Windsor CastleOlivia with her sister Imogen, four, (second left), father Matt (left), and mother Lisa (right) at Windsor Castle (Jonathan Brady/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

Corrie goes along to all of Olivia’s hospital appointments and joins her in the MRI scanner.

Mrs Taylor, from Bexley, south-east London, described the White Drawing Room to Olivia before the Queen arrived, which is where the Paddington Bear scene was filmed with the late Queen as part of the platinum jubilee celebrations, and Olivia was taken around part of the room by Camilla’s equerry, Major Oliver Plunket, to feel the decor.

The Queen also described the cupcake with Santa on and helped Olivia to feel Santa’s feet and his head.

Olivia then told the Queen she had made her a purple ring, which Camilla called “beautiful” before putting it on.

Olivia and Imogen were also given a bag full of presents by the Queen which included a corgi teddy, chocolate chip shortbread, corgi socks, a pencil with a crown on, a corgi Christmas tree decoration and chocolate coins.

Holding the Christmas tree decoration after saying “guess what, it’s another corgi”, Camilla said to Mrs Taylor: “We’ll have to change these one day to a jack russell terrier, which I’ve got.”

Olivia and her family posing for a picture with CamillaOlivia and her family posing for a picture with Camilla (Jonathan Brady/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

The Queen told Olivia she thought Corrie “was going to be a bit jealous” as she hugged the corgi teddy and giggled.

At the end of the meeting, the Queen hugged and kissed the sisters goodbye and asked Olivia’s parents to keep her informed of her progress, adding “she’s been such a brave little girl, I’m so glad to have met her”.

The family posed for a photo with the Queen to remember the occasion and both sisters curtseyed for the Queen, which they had been practising.

Olivia was then taken into the Crimson Drawing Room to feel a Christmas tree, parts of glass from a chandelier, chain mail armour and then to touch Coronation items including replicas of the Queen’s crown – which she tried on – and replicas of the orb and sceptre.
After the meeting, Olivia said she “loved meeting the Queen” and the afternoon was “really, really good”.

Mrs Taylor described meeting the Queen as “absolutely amazing”.

Seven-year-old Olivia Taylor, with her teddy bear Corrie, wearing a replica of the Queen Mary crownSeven-year-old Olivia Taylor, with her teddy bear Corrie, wearing a replica of the Queen Mary crown (Jonathan Brady/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Jonathan Brady

She added: “It feels like a dream doesn’t it Olivia.

“It’s just indescribable really, we’re on a break from chemo and trying to live in the present and make happy memories.

“I can’t believe this has happened to us in the last few weeks.

“Chance is we’re going to be back on chemo in January so it’s really good we’ve got the opportunity to do this now.”

Mrs Taylor described Camilla as “really warm and friendly and kind and really good with children”.

She said: “Olivia just blows our minds every day, everyone that meets Olivia falls in love with her, she’s got such a good spirit, she’s so happy.

“Disabilities don’t define people, yes that’s part of her but it’s more about her kind personality than anything else. We’re living in the present, we just have to make adjustments, it’s all sensory, the smells, tastes and touches.”

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