Harry films introduction to special royal episode of Thomas & Friends

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The Duke of Sussex has spoken of his “fond memories” of growing up watching Thomas & Friends as he filmed an introduction to a special episode of the animated show in which the Queen and a young Prince of Wales are characters.

Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine is part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of Thomas The Tank Engine, which was created by British clergyman the Rev Wilbert Awdry as a storybook for his young son.

It will see Thomas travel to London for the first time on a mission to take Fat Controller Sir Topham Hatt to Buckingham Palace to receive an honour.

Harry filmed the on-camera introduction to the episode, in which he sits in an armchair holding a copy of the book, in January, and a donation was made to charity.

“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.”

Royalty – Prince Harry at Nursery – Notting Hall Gate, London
Prince Harry on his first day of school with a Thomas bag (PA)

Thomas gets lost along the way and meets the royal train, called the Duchess of Loughborough, voiced by Rosamund Pike.

Rosamund Pike recording the new animated special
Rosamund Pike recording the new animated special (Mattel, Inc/PA)

“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.”

Chuck Scothon, of toy company Mattel, added: “Since the beginning, Thomas & Friends has celebrated friendship and teamwork through storytelling which has cultivated fan love across generations.

“In this milestone 75th year, we are releasing more storytelling content than ever before to engage the next generation of fans.

The Queen and a young Prince of Wales are characters in the episode (Channel 5)

The special episode will be on Milkshake! on Channel 5 at 9.05am on May 2 and will stream on Netflix in the US on May 1.

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