SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please considering donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

British RoyalsCoronavirusPrincess Anne and Family

The Princess Royal meets Thomas the Tank Engine

Princess Anne, Princess Royal
The Royal Family/ Save the Children/ Instagram still/ fair use

The Princess Royal has been captured on camera talking about the time her mother met a talking train. It’s all in a good cause. Princess Anne has read a special version of a Thomas the Tank Engine story to celebrate a successful campaign by one of the charities closest to her heart.

The Princess Royal’s reading of ‘Thomas and the Royal Train’ brought to an end a special series run by Save the Children in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since April, famous names around the world have been recording versions of children’s stories that have been shared by Save the Children online. The campaign aims to give youngsters something to enjoy in lockdown but also looks to raise funds for vulnerable children around the world to give them access to vital services including early learning resources and food vouchers.

Anne read the story which features the Reverend W. Awdry’s famous creation taking his boss, the Fat Controller, on a trip to meet the Queen. In the video, the Princess Royal introduced her audience to Thomas before settling back in her chair and asking if those listening were ‘sitting comfortably’. At the end of her reading, the Princess revealed that the book had been one of her own favourites as a child. In the background was a photo of the princess with her older brother, the Prince of Wales, perhaps a hint that this was a story the two had enjoyed hearing together when younger.

As well as telling the story, Princess Anne also had warm words for all those who had been involved in the campaign which was launched by one of the charity’s ambassadors, Poppy Delevingne, on April 14th 2020. Since then, dozens of famous names around the world have read stories to raise money for the organisation. Among them were the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who chose to show their support for the ‘Save with Stories’ campaign by releasing a film of Meghan reading ‘Duck, Rabbit!’ to their son, Archie, on his first birthday on May 6th.

After thanking all those who had helped, the Princess Royal continued ”bearing in mind that in my travels, I think I’ve discovered that there are many more similarities than dissimilarities, particularly among the things that children enjoy and storytelling is very high on that list which all children enjoy.”

And Anne went on to highlight the help that the campaign wants to provide, saying ”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. Thank you.”

The Princess Royal has been patron of Save the Children since 1970. You can find out more about ‘Save with Stories’, including how to donate to the campaign, on the Save the Children website.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.