Queen Camilla thanks blind schoolgirl who sang in King's Christmas broadcast

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, ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports


A "brave" primary school girl with a brain tumour who sang in the King's Christmas broadcast has been personally thanked by the Queen - with tea at Windsor Castle.

Olivia Taylor lost her sight when she was just one, shortly after she was diagnosed with the tumour.

In the King's traditional Christmas Day address, Olivia was part of the primary school choir which sang 'While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night' at the end of the broadcast.

Now seven-years-old, Olivia has regular chemotherapy and brain scans, but during a break from her treatment she was invited to sing at Buckingham Palace with other school children from Bexley Music, in southeast London.

When Queen Camilla heard about Olivia, who sang her heart out in the front row of the choir, she invited the schoolgirl for tea at Windsor Castle.

Her mum and dad, Lisa and Matt, and her four-year-old sister, Imogen, arrived in the quadrangle of the castle in a golf buggy.

She was shown into the Equerry's Entrance and up the stairs, using her stick to find her way.

Her mum described the State Rooms to Olivia as they walked into the grand rooms in the east wing of the castle, and she touched the gold carvings on the gilded doors.

The Queen sat between Olivia and her sister, and helped her to feel the cakes and biscuits on the table, which were made to be as sensory as possible.

Some of the cakes had Santa faces and feet, and the biscuits had the children's names written in white icing.

All the while, Olivia carried her teddy, Corrie, who she named after the Coronation.

Olivia ate cakes and biscuits, and drank tea with Queen Camilla. Credit: PA

Corrie goes everywhere with Olivia, including when she goes to hospital for treatment.

Corrie even goes into the MRI scanner with Olivia when she has her brain scans.

The Queen had set a place for Corrie alongside Olivia and the rest of the family in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle.

It is the same room which was used to film the famous Paddington Bear sketch with the late Queen for her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

After eating the biscuits and cake, Camilla asked Olivia if she'd like to try her first cup of tea.

"Would you like to be really grown up and have a cup of tea?," the Queen asked.

"Yes," Olivia replied.

After a footman poured it for her and the Queen dropped a sugar cube into Olivia's cup, Camilla asked: "Do you think Corrie would like a cup of tea?"


'Would you like to be really grown up and have a cup of tea?'


Looking at her teddy, Olivia said: "Yeah! Wouldn't you? Oh my gosh!"

The invitation to sing in the King's Christmas broadcast came at just the right moment for Olivia, who was on a three week break from chemotherapy.

"She's such a brave little girl and she deserves everything," Camilla said to Olivia's parents, adding: "And I'm so glad to have met her."

Olivia's tumour is a stage one brain tumour, which some medics consider is cancer while others don't.

But she needs the chemotherapy to stop the tumour growing and will have another course of it in the new year.

"Olivia just blows our minds every day," Lisa Taylor said. "She has got such a good spirit. Disabilities don't define people. Yes, that is part of her but its more about Olivia's personality than anything else.

When we asked Olivia what she will remember most about her day, she said: "I saw the Queen and I got to feel the Christmas tree, and I went into the White Drawing Room and Corrie got to sit in the chair where Paddington sat."

After singing 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' for the Queen and getting a round of applause, Olivia was taken to touch the tall Christmas tree in the State Rooms next door.

Olivia and her family with Queen Camilla at Windsor Castle. Credit: PA

And she was invited to wear a replica of the crown the Queen wore at her Coronation in May.

"I am Royal!," Olivia said to herself when she tried on the copy of the Queen Mary Crown.

To those of us in the room, it seemed she had forgotten her medical battles for just a moment as she stood there.

Camilla asked to be kept informed of Olivia's medical condition.

Lisa and Matt Taylor are supporting a number of charities which help them and Olivia, including My Shining Star Cancer Charity, Little Amber Trust - which funds music lessons for blind and visually impaired children - Brain Tumour Research and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity - where Olivia has been looked after for six years.

Olivia and her sister both got a hug from the Queen as they left and Olivia stepped out of the castle carrying Corrie, with a huge smile on her face.

Singing for the King and having tea with the Queen.

She's had quite a Christmas.


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