Prince Harry is to introduce a special episode of Thomas & Friends to mark the 75th anniversary of the beloved children’s TV character Thomas the Tank Engine.
The new episode, The Royal Engine, will celebrate 75 years since the publication of the first book in Reverend W. Awdry’s The Railway Series, and features young versions of Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and his father Prince Charles.
It will open with an introduction from the Duke of Sussex, who will explain his own fond memories of growing up with stories featuring the friendly steam locomotive and his friends from the island of Sodor.
“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,” Harry said. “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.”
The Royal Engine will also feature the voice of British actress Rosamund Pike as a new train character, the Duchess of Loughborough.
“It is an absolute honour 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,” Rosamund added.
The episode will be available on Netflix in the U.S. on Friday and will air in the U.K. as part of Channel 5’s Milkshake children’s programming the following day.