Dame Helen Mirren pays tribute to troops’ Olympic effort

Dame Helen Mirren surprised soldiers on Saturday as she attended an event in Wapping to thank the army for their work in East London during the Olympics.

More than 2,500 troops drafted in to help with security during the Games were accommodated in the disused shopping centre Tobacco Dock.

On Sunday, a ceremony was held in Wapping Rose Gardens in recognition their work in maintaining security and integrating with members of the public during the Olympics. The event, which was open to members of the public, attracted Dame Helen Mirren, who lives in Wapping.

“As a resident I have loved having the troops here,” she said. “It has been great to see Tobacco Dock full of people and we have felt so close to what was happening in the Olympic park. It has been a very special event.”

The ceremony was also attended by Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman, and Commodore Martin Atherton, the regional commander for eastern England. The pair inspected the troops accompanied by music from the Royal Marine (Portsmouth) band.

Mayor Rahman said: “For the last three weeks soldiers have been welcome in the streets and the stations of our borough as they have gone about their duties supporting the Olympic effort.

“I was proud to salute them and our hard working staff and volunteers on behalf of Tower Hamlets - and the nation. They played their part in making the Olympic Games an enormous success.”