In a sweet nod to his British heritage, Prince Harry will introduce a special Thomas The Tank Engine episode airing on Netflix next month to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the beloved train series. What's more, the upcoming episode featuring the Duke of Sussex focuses on the royal family, so it's a win-win situation for royal aficionados and their little train enthusiasts.
On Friday, May 1, Netflix will air a new and special 75th anniversary episode of Thomas The Tank Engine called "Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine." Recorded earlier this year, Prince Harry will read an introduction for the upcoming episode, which features animated versions of Prince Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and his father Prince Charles as a little boy. English actress Rosamunde Pike voices a new character called the Duchess of Loughborough for the special royal episode.
"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," the Duke of Sussex said in a statement released by Mattel. "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."
Prince Harry's foray into reading the introduction of this episode is particularly moving, considering he himself is a father to his son Archie, who turns 1 year old on May 6, and the Thomas The Tank Engine series first began as a father, the Rev. Wilbert Awdry, telling stories to his son Christopher 75 years ago. And, of course, the story for this particular episode is extra special since it involves his own family. In the upcoming episode, Thomas goes on a special mission to take Sir Topham Hatt to London to visit Buckingham Palace.
Between his marriage to Meghan Markle, the birth of his son Archie last year, his shocking departure from royal duties, and his family's big move to the United States, the Duke of Sussex has seen a lot of changes recently, but it seems his affection for Thomas The Tank Engine endures. Mark your calendars for Thomas The Tank Engine's 75th anniversary episode featuring Prince Harry airing on Netflix on May 1.