Prince Harry records message for Thomas the Tank Engine


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 that includes Harry’s father and grandmother, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, 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 honor.

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.’

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,’ he added.

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

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

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

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

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

Life long fan Harry clutched a Thomas the Tank Engine bag on his first day of school 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 school

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 school 

In January, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, 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

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 

Harry is pictured here on September 16, 1987, looking through mock binoculars holding the hand of 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 is pictured here on September 16, 1987, looking through mock binoculars holding the hand of 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

In this January, 2020 photo and made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, Britain's Prince Harry poses for a photo during the recording of his introduction to the new animated special 'Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine'. Set when the the Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles was a boy, Thomas has to take Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour. 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, 2020. (Dave Poultney/Mattel via AP)

In this January, 2020 photo and made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, Britain’s Prince Harry poses for a photo during the recording of his introduction to the new animated special ‘Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine’. Set when the the Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles was a boy, Thomas has to take Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour. 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, 2020. (Dave Poultney/Mattel via AP)

In this January, 2020 photo and made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, Britain's Prince Harry poses for a photo during the recording of his introduction to the new animated special 'Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine'. Set when the the Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles was a boy, Thomas has to take Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour. 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, 2020. (Dave Poultney/Mattel via AP)

In this January, 2020 photo and made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, Britain’s Prince Harry poses for a photo during the recording of his introduction to the new animated special ‘Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine’. Set when the the Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles was a boy, Thomas has to take Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway, to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour. 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, 2020. (Dave Poultney/Mattel via AP)

This photo made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, shows a scene featuring Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and  Prince Charles as a boy from an animated special 'Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine' released to mark the 75th anniversary of Thomas The Tank Engine. The special includes a special introduction from Prince Harry. 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, 2020. (Mattel via AP)

This photo made available on Monday April 27, 2020 by Mattel, shows a scene featuring Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles as a boy from an animated special ‘Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine’ released to mark the 75th anniversary of Thomas The Tank Engine. The special includes a special introduction from Prince Harry. 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, 2020. (Mattel via AP)

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