Prince Harry may no longer be an official working member of the monarchy, but he’s embracing his royal roots for a sweet new reason — an upcoming cameo alongside Thomas the Tank Engine! To celebrate the beloved children’s show’s 75th anniversary, Harry has recorded a special video introduction to introduce the apt new episode Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine. In the words of that lovable locomotive, “Bust my buffers!”
Harry’s upcoming cameo on the kids’ series is part of a year of celebration in the life of the show, which will include everything from new episodes to short-form content and even an all-new podcast for kids. The episode Harry is cueing up will headline the anniversary year, and will feature his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, along with his father, Prince Charles, as a young boy. In the royal-themed-episode, Thomas makes his first trip to London to take Sir Topham Hatt to Buckingham Palace to be honored.
“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.”
In Harry’s introduction, he’s seated in a chair at Buckingham Palace (it was filmed before he and Meghan Markle left the U.K.). The whole tribute is quite fitting when you recall that young Harry was photographed clutching a Thomas-branded bookbag on his first day of kindergarten all the way back in 1987.
And Harry isn’t the only celebrity fan of Thomas who has signed up to celebrate the character’s big year. In the same episode, actress Rosamund Pike will voice a new character known as the Duchess of Loughborough, a “lovely, warm, bubbly sort of effervescent engine” that she calls an “absolute honor” to play.
The 75th anniversary special of Thomas & Friends featuring Harry airs on May 1 on Netflix.
Before you go, check out the 100 best photos of the royal family over the years.
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