Ian McKellen tours Windsor with Down syndrome activist Millie Anna

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I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

Sir Ian and Millie Anna had a ‘splendid’ day (Picture: Instagram)

Sir Ian McKellen got a special tour around Windsor after coming across an aspiring actress and Down syndrome activist’s Instagram post. 

Millie Anna Prelogar, 17, caught the eye of the legendary actor when she attended one of his performances in The Cherry Orchard at the Theatre Royal Windsor.

Back in October, she shared a picture of herself standing in front of pictures of Sir Ian and Martin Shaw, and wrote: ‘Lovely evening @theatrewindsor watching The Cherry Orchard. They are really good actors!’

However, Millie Anna wasn’t expecting Sir Ian to get in touch, asking for a tour around her hometown.

She told The Times: ‘He messaged me to ask if I’d like to show him around town. I was so excited! We had such a fun time, we talked and laughed as we went to all my favourite places. I’m so lucky he chose me to be his tour guide – it was just the best day ever.

‘I laughed – he made me feel so special! What a day.’

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I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

Millie Anna went to see the actor in The Cherry Orchard (Picture: Instagram)

I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

Millie Anna showed Sir Ian around town (Picture: Instagram)

Sir Ian shared pictures from their outing, revealing that Millie Anna took him to see Windsor Castle and the changing of the guard, to her favourite restaurant Enzo’s for pizza and pasta, and to Fortescues for an ice-cream. 

The Lord of the Rings star spent four and a half hours with Millie Anna and her father, and visited her family home to meet her mum and her dog Lola at the end of his tour of Windsor.

The 82-year-old explained on social media: ‘I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. 

‘Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way.’

I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

The friends grabbed an ice-cream (Picture: Instagram)

I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

Sir Ian thanked Millie Anna for the tour (Picture: Instagram)

He also asked Millie Anna to introduce herself to his two million Instagram followers, with the teenager saying: ‘I’m Millie Anna, born on 31st August 2004 in Windsor, Berkshire. I’m 17 and comfortable with an extra chromosome. One of my goals is to inspire other people with Down Syndrome to follow their dreams, you can do anything you want – sometimes you just need a little extra help to achieve it. 

‘I started my Instagram page @outwith_millieanna to have fun and show I live a normal life, going out, enjoying the theatre, dinners, holidays just like other 17 year olds. One day I’ll be an actor and everyone will see Down Syndrome is really no big deal! 

‘I love living in Windsor, it’s like a fairytale town with the Queen and her Castle. It’s a fun place to be all year round with lots to do. When people ask me where I live, it doesn’t matter where in the world they’re from they know Windsor because if they haven’t visited, they’ve read about it or seen it on TV.’

I chanced on a photo of the 17 year old Millie Anna outside the Theatre Royal, Martin Shaw and me in the background. It turned out Millie Anna @outwith_millieanna is an aspiring model with the @zebedeetalent agency and outspoken about Down Syndrome. I had a cousin with the same condition. Now she has shown me around Windsor, under the loving guidance of her father Jeffrey, who snapped us on our way. Picture:ianmckellen METROGRAB ref: https://www.instagram.com/ianmckellen/

Sir Ian is performing in the town at Theatre Royal Windsor (Picture: Instagram)

Hearts were warmed by Sir Ian and Millie Anna’s friendship, with one comment reading: ‘Your travels around Windsor have been so heartwarming. Two people generations apart sharing the best of times.’

Millie Anna’s father joked that he felt like he was looking after two children, saying they were ‘a couple of kids larking about town’.

With her Instagram following now jumping to over 15,000 thanks to her adventure with Sir Ian, Millie Anna wants to use her profile to show that people with Down Syndome can achieve anything they want.

She told BBC Newsround: ‘If people have children with Down syndrome, I want them to think, yes, I saw somebody on Instagram, and she has Down syndrome, and she is proud to have it. And so they think, “One day I want my kids to grow up and do exactly the same things as Millie Anna did.”’


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