A nine-year-old girl was rushed to hospital and left with serious burns after being scalded with tea during a visit to Buckingham Palace.
Georgie Gibbs has cerebral palsy and is on a waiting list to have her hip sockets straightened and had always wanted to visit the palace.
As a treat, her mother, Clare, paid £142 to take history-loving Georgie for a tour of the palace and gardens along with her daughter Ella, 11, and partner Bruce Martin.
The group went on Saturday, and had toured the state rooms and met the Queen's horses when they stopped for a snack in the royal Garden Café.
But moments after sitting down, a full cup of scalding hot tea tipped over Georgie.
Ms Gibbs said: “We sat down with our collection of cakes and drinks, suddenly Georgie started to scream and scream.
“It all happened so quickly and somehow the scalding hot tea had spilt onto her leg and was running down into the splint that she wears.
“The café was packed and we were at a small circular table at the front near where everyone was ordering.
“I can only assume that somehow Georgie’s wheelchair got budged and it knocked the table and caused the cup of tea to fall on her.
“The screams were horrific to hear and the whole cafe of tourists stopped in silence.
“We took the splints off as quickly as possible and I called immediately for iced water to put over her legs, suddenly all the customers started pouring their cold drinks onto her legs to cool the burns while waiting for more cold water.”
Managers of the royal café called an ambulance and Georgie was rushed to St Thomas’ Hospital where she was given morphine.
Ms Gibbs, from Worcester, said: “Georgie is a royal fanatic and loves the Queen so we took her to Buckingham Palace as a treat.
“She is having more surgery soon so we wanted to do something fun before the hard work begins because her rehabilitation is going to take some time.”
Ms Gibbs has warned parents of the dangers of having hot drinks around children and the importance of acting quickly in the event of an accident.
She added: “The management were amazing, keeping me informed of all their actions and reassuring me that help was on its way."
Georgie suffered second degree burns to her legs but the next day she and her family were invited back to the palace were they were “treated like royalty”.
Clare, a former HR manager, said: “The staff gave Georgie and Ella a Jubilee teddy bear and a corgi dog cuddly toy. We were all treated like royalty.”
A Royal Collection Trust spokesperson said: “The safety of our visitors is a top priority and we aim to train our staff to react quickly when first aid incidents occur.
“We are pleased that Georgie is doing well and wish her a full and speedy recovery.”