Prince Harry has appeared in his first official role since quitting the royal family – introducing a very special episode of Thomas the Tank Engine.
The Queen’s grandson can be seen sitting in an armchair with a copy of one of the classic books as he chats about the 75th anniversary programme, which is titled Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine.
The 22-minute special episode sees Thomas travel to London for the first time to take Sir Topham Hatt to meet the Queen, meeting new character, Duchess of Loughborough – voiced by actress Rosamund Pike – along the way.
The short clip was recorded in January, before Harry and wife Meghan Markle quit the royal family, in exchange for a charity to donation.
Speaking to mark the release of the clip, 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.”
Rosamund Pike said: “It is an absolute honour to have the chance to appear in the show. 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.”
In the special episode, the Queen invites Sir Topham Hatt to London to receive an award for distinguished service to the railway
Her son – a young Prince Charles – asks that Thomas makes the special journey.
However disaster strikes when Thomas gets lost, resulting in some unexpected adventures, and the team have to work together to make sure they arrive on time.
Earlier this month wife Meghan made her return to showbiz as she narrated the Disney+ documentary Elephant.
The film follows an elephant family’s “extraordinary 1,000 mile journey across Africa on an adventure that will change their lives.”
It received mixed reviews from critics but has been widely praised by Meghan’s fans around the world.
She also appeared in an short piece to camera talking about the film, which appeared on Good Morning America, in which she said she hopes it will change the world for the better by encouraging viewers to take better care of each other – and the planet.
She also spoke about her own trips to see elephants in their natural habit, including trips with husband Prince Harry before their royal wedding.
She said: “I’m really grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of bringing this story about elephants to life.
“These creatures are so majestic and yet they are so sensitive and so connected.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be able to have hands on experience with elephants in their natural habitat when you spent time connecting to them and other wildlife you realise we have a role to play in their preservation and their safety.
“We see in this film how amazing they are, the close connection in the herd, the protectiveness of their young, I think they are a lot more like us than they are different.”
She ends the short video by voicing her hope that her film changes the world.
Meghan concluded: “I hope that when people see this film they see how connected we all are and if we had more of an awareness about the obstacles we are facing…
“We would take care of each other, the planet and animals in a very different way
“That’s why is really important to me to help tell that story.”