Prince Harry records message for Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas and his Royal Friends: Prince Harry introduces 75th anniversary edition of children’s classic featuring the Queen and Prince Charles – as he tells of his ‘fond boyhood memories’ of the little tank engine

  • The Duke of Sussex recorded a special message to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Thomas the Tank Engine 
  • Called ‘Thomas and Friends: The Royal Engine’, storyline includes animated Prince Charles and the Queen
  • The story sees Thomas taking controller Sir Topham Hatt to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour
  • Harry said he has, ‘fond memories of growing up with Thomas and being transported to new places through his adventures’
  • Prince Harry recorded the message in January before his move overseas with all proceeds going to charity

Prince Harry has recorded a special message to celebrate the 75th anniversary of children’s favorite Thomas the Tank Engine.

The Duke of Sussex introduces a new program called, ‘Thomas and Friends: The Royal Engine,’ which has a storyline featuring Harry’s father and grandmother, Prince Charles and the Queen, as animated characters.

Set when the Prince of Wales was a boy, the story sees the friendly engine taking Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour.

In his introduction – which was recorded in January before his move overseas – Prince Harry is seen sitting in an armchair, reading from a book about the train’s adventures.

In a statement he said he has, ‘fond memories of growing up with Thomas and Friends and being transported to new places through his adventures.’

Harry added: ‘[Thomas] has been a comforting, familiar face to so many families over the last 75 years – entertaining, educating and inspiring children on important issues through exciting stories and characters.’

British actress Rosamund Pike is also onboard voicing a new character, a train called the Duchess of Loughborough. 

The shows a scene featuring the Queen and Prince Charles as animated characters 

Prince Harry during the recording of his introduction to the new animated special ‘Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine’

Life long fan Harry clutched a Thomas the Tank Engine bag on his first day of nursery in west London in 1987

The Duke of Sussex, pictured here aged three with his parents and older brother, clutched a Thomas the Tank Engine bag on his first day of nursery 

In January, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced they planned to quit as senior royals, seek financial independence and move to North America.

The split became official at the end of March, and the couple are currently in California, where Meghan was raised.

Proof of Prince Harry’s attachment to the engine can also be seen in photos of his first day attending nursery in September 1987, where he is seen carrying a Thomas the Tank Engine bag.

The Rev. Wilbert Awdry released the first book in ‘The Railway Series’ 75 years ago. It was originally created as a bedtime story for his son, Christopher, during a bout of the measles.

The plucky blue tank engine doesn’t appear in the debut story. He got his own illustrated book in 1946 called ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and swiftly took over from Edward, Gordon and Henry as everyone´s favorite.

The train tales were turned into a stop-motion animation series in the ´80s, moving into CGI in 2009. ‘Thomas and Friends,’ owned by Mattel, is now on air in over 160 countries worldwide.

The show will be aired by Netflix in the U.S. on May 1 and on Channel 5´s ‘Milkshake’ show in the U.K. the following day. It will also be broadcast in Canada and Australia later in the month.

Set when the Prince of Wales was a boy, the story sees the friendly engine taking Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour 

In a statement he said he has, ‘fond memories of growing up with Thomas and Friends and being transported to new places through his adventures.’ 

Proof of Prince Harry’s attachment to the engine can also be seen in photos of his first day attending nursery in September 1987, where he is seen carrying a Thomas the Tank Engine bag. Harry is pictured here on September 16, 1987, looking through mock binoculars holding the hand of nursery manager Jane Mynors and carrying a Thomas The Tank Engine bag on his way out from his first day at school in Notting Hill, West London

Harry added: ‘[Thomas] has been a comforting, familiar face to so many families over the last 75 years – entertaining, educating and inspiring children on important issues through exciting stories and characters.’ 

The special will be screened in the US on Netflix on 1 May, 2020 and in the UK on Channel 5 Milkshake at 9:05 am on 2 May,

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