By KATIE KINDELAN, ABC News
(LOS ANGELES) — Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is joining the celebration for the 75th anniversary of the beloved children’s show Thomas the Tank Engine.
Harry, the father of an 11-month-old son, Archie, recorded an on-screen introduction of Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine, a new animated special that features the characters of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his father, Prince Charles, as a boy.
Harry recorded the introduction in January, according to Mattel, the maker of Thomas the Tank Engine.
“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 in a statement. “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 said.
The 22-minute “Royal Engine” special features Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike voicing a new character, the Duchess of Loughborough. It will air on different dates throughout May in countries around the world, including the U.S., where it will air May 1 on Netflix, according to Mattel.
Harry’s passion for Thomas the Tank Engine can be seen in childhood photos that feature the young prince wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt and carrying a bag from the show on his first day of kindergarten.
Harry recorded his part in the “Royal Engine” special before he and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, formally stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family on April 1.
Harry, Meghan and Archie are now living in Los Angeles.
Meghan, a former actress, recently voiced a new Disneynature film, Elephant, which premiered earlier this month on the streaming service Disney+.
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