harry-thomas

The adorable reason Prince Harry chose to support Thomas the Tank Engine

The Duke of Sussex recalled "fond memories"

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Sussex spoke of his pride at being asked to record an introduction for an episode of Thomas & Friends to mark its 75th anniversary. And it's no surprise that Harry wholeheartedly accepted; the animated show holds some special memories for the Prince, and he was clearly a megafan as a child! 

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WATCH: Prince Harry teams up with Thomas & Friends

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to release picture of Archie to mark first birthday

Photos of a young Prince Harry holding a Thomas the Tank Engine bag for his first day at Mrs Mynor's nursery school in 1987 have resurfaced. The then three-year-old royal, who was wearing his blue uniform, had the school bag with Thomas' face on it proudly tucked under his arm as Prince Charles and Princess Diana dropped off their youngest son on his big day. Two years later, Harry was photographed wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt with beige shorts as he left nursery school holding Princess Diana's hand.

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Harry on his first day of nursery in 1987 

Speaking about the honour of taking part in the special episode, Prince Harry said: "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.

"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."

MORE: The secret behind Kate Middleton's personal family photos – the cameras and lens she uses and why

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Harry and Diana in 1989

The on-camera introduction made by Harry was recorded earlier this year, in January, with a donation made to charity. The Duke's grandmother, the Queen, and his father, Prince Charles, star as characters in the animated show. In the 22-minute special, Sir Topham Hatt has been invited to London by the Queen to receive an award for distinguished service to the railway, and a young Prince Charles has asked that Thomas transports him.

Harry became a father for the first time last May when his wife Meghan gave birth to Archie. We wonder if the Prince has been watching his favourite childhood show with his son, who is set to turn one on 6 May. The Sussexes are due to release a new photo of Archie to mark his first birthday next week.

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