Anne reads Thomas the Tank Engine tale as part of online storytime series

The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal (PA Wire)
15:27pm, Thu 02 Jul 2020
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The Princess Royal has read a Thomas the Tank Engine story online for charity.

Anne’s delivery of Thomas And Friends: The Royal Engine marks the end of Save the Children’s Save with Stories initiative.

Famous faces including the Duchess of Sussex, who read Duck! Rabbit! to her son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and actors Paul Mescal, Dame Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet have taken part in the drive to raise funds for the organisation’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal.

Anne – heralded for being one of the hardest working royals and known for her no-nonsense approach – declares at the start: “Hope you’re sitting comfortably.”

She said: “Sadly you’ll miss the pictures. It is a very colourful book. But I will just introduce you to Thomas. He’s here. Thomas the Tank Engine.”

On the video, posted to Instagram, she read the story clearly, taking the exclamations of “Beep! Beep!” and “Next stop, London!” in her stride.

Anne selected the book herself and confessed she was a fan of it as a child.

The tale sees Thomas overcoming various obstacles to allow the Fat Controller to collect an award from the Queen.

The princess’s nephew the Duke of Sussex filmed an introduction to an animated version of the same story to mark the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Thomas character by British clergyman the Rev Wilbert Awdry.

Harry spoke of his own fond memories growing up with Thomas and friends.

Anne said: “It has been my pleasure to read this book to you today, one I enjoyed when I was young.”

She thanked the readers and authors who had been involved in the storytime initiative, and those who had donated.

Save the Children’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal has so far raised £1.4 million to support families in the UK and around the world whose lives have been devastated by the pandemic.

Anne, the charity’s patron, added: “Your support allows us to help children and their families affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and is most appreciated.

“That will be linked to problems they already have and we need to be there to help them deal with that as well.”

A framed photo of the princess laughing together with her older brother the Prince of Wales could be seen in the background.

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