Prince Harry Helps Celebrate Thomas the Tank Engine's 75th Anniversary with Special TV Episode
Prince Harry has recorded a special video to introduce a new royal-themed episode of the Thomas & Friends series, which airs next month
Prince Harry has taken a special journey down memory lane, celebrating one of the beloved childhood stories he has had "fond memories of growing up with.”
Honoring the 75th anniversary of Thomas the Tank Engine, The Duke of Sussex recorded a celebratory introduction for a special episode of the popular children's show, Thomas & Friends, marking the anniversary of the book series based on the famous train engine and all of his adventures.
In a statement, Harry said, “Thomas the Tank Engine 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."
"I certainly have fond memories of growing up with Thomas & Friends and being transported to new places through his adventures. I am very proud to have been asked to take part in this special episode. I wish Thomas & Friends a very happy anniversary," he added.
In the clip, Harry, 35, sits in a chair at Buckingham Palace to introduce the new episode called Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine, which features his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and his father, Prince Charles, as a young boy. In the story, Thomas travels to London for the first time to take Sir Topham Hatt, one of the show's main characters, to Buckingham Palace to receive a special honor.
Actress Rosamund Pike also voices a new character, the Duchess of Loughborough train engine, which Thomas encounters on his way to London.
“It is an absolute honor to have the chance to appear in the show and I take it as a big responsibility to play Duchess who is a lovely, warm, bubbly sort of effervescent engine that I am incredibly drawn to because she is very anxious to get things right,” Pike said.
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The prince’s short video was made in January before he left the U.K. for Canada and then Los Angeles with wife Meghan Markle, 38, and son Archie, who turns 1 in May.
Harry's boyhood love for the Thomas character was seen as he clutched Thomas-branded bag when he arrived at his kindergarten school for the first time in September 1987.
Thomas the Tank Engine began his literary journey 75 years ago when he was invented by Rev. Wilbert Awdry, as a comforting story for his son, Christopher, who was in bed with measles.
The 75th anniversary special of Thomas & Friends will air on Netflix on May 1, and then on Channel Five's Milkshake in the U.K. on May 2.