To help keep the U.K.'s elderly population warm this winter season, Helen Mirren is donating her iconic red bikini and giving fans a chance to win a piece of history. 


The 66-year-old actress made headlines overnight after she was photographed in the two-piece while on vacation in 2008. It made her (yet again) an instant sex symbol, but she admitted there was nothing special about how she stays in shape. "I've never done anything to excess. I've never drunk or eaten too much. It helps to stay balanced," she told People magazine.


Earlier this year, Mirren won an L.A. Fitness poll for "Best Body," beating out some younger competition like Elle Macpherson, Jennifer Lopez and Pippa Middleton.


Now, in partnership with Age UK, she's parting ways with her red bikini. "I'm saying farewell to it a little bit regretfully but hopefully it will go to someone who will fill it with as much aplomb as maybe I did," she told the U.K. morning show "Daybreak." "It happens to be one of the best bikinis in the world because it fits! The minute I bought it I loved it because it's so hard to find a bikini that fits if you've got bosoms like I have."


"I would love it to raise money for an organisation that I support called Age UK," she added. "I love the idea of this little flimsy summer thing going towards helping old people stay warm and comfortable and toasty in the wintertime. Age UK is a wonderful organisation, so I'm hoping that they can raise money with it."


To take home Mirren's bikini, all fans have to do is make a donation to Age UK before Dec. 9. The organization hopes to use the funds raised to help reach more than 360,000 older people this season. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Helen Mirren's famous bikini to help the elderly
Actress donates the iconic piece of swimwear to raise cash for the Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign.