Home / Royal Mail / Princess Anne reads Thomas and the Royal Engine for Save the Children’s fundraising initiative

Princess Anne reads Thomas and the Royal Engine for Save the Children’s fundraising initiative

Save the Children Patron The Princess Royal, has marked the end of Save the Children’s hugely successful Save With Stories initiative by reading ‘Thomas and the Royal Engine’.

The video, which has been shared on Save the Children UK’s Instagram page, is the final installment of the fundraising initiative which has seen over 70 well-known faces reading an array of bedtime stories. 

As well as keeping millions of families entertained during lockdown, the initiative has helped to raise urgent funds for the charity’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal which has so far raised £1.4m to support families in the UK and around the world whose lives have been devastated by the pandemic.

The Princess Royal became the Patron of Save the Children in 2017 after serving as President since 1970. 

Princess Anne, 69, has marked the end of Save the Children’s hugely successful Save With Stories initiative by reading ‘Thomas and the Royal Engine’ (pictured)

The video, which has been shared on Save the Children UK's Instagram page, is the final installment of the fundraising initiative which has seen over 70 well-known faces reading an array of bedtime stories. Pictured, Princess Anne reading

The video, which has been shared on Save the Children UK’s Instagram page, is the final installment of the fundraising initiative which has seen over 70 well-known faces reading an array of bedtime stories. Pictured, Princess Anne reading

She chose to read ‘Thomas and Friends: The Royal Engine’, a story which sees Thomas overcoming various obstacles to get ‘The Fat Controller’ to collect an award from the Queen.

The Princess Royal can be heard saying in her video: ‘It has been my pleasure to read this book to you today, one I enjoyed when I was young’. 

Having travelled to over 20 countries with Save the Children The Princess Royal goes on to note that ‘there are many more similarities than dissimilarities particularly amongst the things that children enjoy, and story-telling is very high on that list’.

Following the success of the US campaign led by actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams, Save the Children Ambassador Poppy Delevingne launched the UK version of Save With Stories in mid-April at the height of lockdown. 

The Princess Royal joins niece-in-law Meghan Markle, who marked her son Archie’s first birthday with a reading of ‘Duck! Rabbit!’, and an array of other famous faces from the world of film, TV, theatre, music, fashion and beyond, who have all taken part. 

Amongst the names are actors Paul Mescal, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Michael Ward and Benedict Cumberbatch, singers Rita Ora, Liam Payne and Jade Thirlwall, presenters Fearne Cotton and Jon Snow, activists Sinead Burke and George the Poet and Oscar winner Rachel Shenton, who signed a Peppa Pig story.

The Princess Royal says in her video: 'It has been my pleasure to read this book to you today, one I enjoyed when I was young'

The Princess Royal says in her video: ‘It has been my pleasure to read this book to you today, one I enjoyed when I was young’

Taking to Instagram, savechildrenuk penned: 'Thank you to our Patron, The Princess Royal, for closing Save with Stories with a final reading of 'Thomas and the Royal Engine'

Taking to Instagram, savechildrenuk penned: ‘Thank you to our Patron, The Princess Royal, for closing Save with Stories with a final reading of ‘Thomas and the Royal Engine’ 

Save the Children UK Ambassador Poppy Delevingne added: ‘It is an honour to have The Princess Royal reading the last book in our Save With Stories initiative. 

‘I was so delighted to launch the campaign here in the UK, not only to raise money for those so badly affected by the pandemic but because all these joyful readings have offered children and parents alike some respite and enjoyment during lockdown.’ 

It comes after the news that a documentary exploring the life of Princess Anne as a ‘mould-breaking’ member of the royal family will be released to mark her 70th birthday next month. 

The Princess Royal, who celebrates the milestone on August 15, is known for ‘refusing to follow the script’; becoming the first daughter of a monarch to attend school, the first royal Olympian and insisting her children were not given royal titles.

To celebrate her remarkable life, filmmakers were granted ‘unprecedented’ behind-the-scenes access to the princess and those closest to her for more than a year. 

A documentary exploring the life of Princess Anne as a 'mould-breaking' member of the royal family will be released to mark her 70th birthday next month. Pictured, Anne in March

A documentary exploring the life of Princess Anne as a ‘mould-breaking’ member of the royal family will be released to mark her 70th birthday next month. Pictured, Anne in March

The result is a 90-minute documentary that promises a ‘definitive portrait’ of Anne, featuring unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence. 

School friends recall Princess Anne’s desire to be ‘one of the girls’ before she came of age as the swinging Sixties made way for the turbulent Seventies. 

Meanwhile her Ladies in Waiting admit that they struggle to keep up with her relentless pace and her charities reveal a passionate patron who keeps everyone on their toes.

The documentary will also show the Princess speaking about the failed kidnap attempt in 1974.  

Viewers will get a glimpse of her famous work rate as she undertakes a rich variety of engagements at home and abroad – from the catwalk to the turret of a tank. 

The documentary promises a 'definitive portrait' of Anne, featuring unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence. Pictured, Anne with the Queen on a state visit to Austria in 1969

The documentary promises a ‘definitive portrait’ of Anne, featuring unseen family footage and conversations with her children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence. Pictured, Anne with the Queen on a state visit to Austria in 1969

But they will also see and hear how she relaxes with her children, her grandchildren and her animals at her Gloucestershire estate while Sir Tim reflects on a shared love of the sea and much else. 

Princess Royal: Anne at 70 is commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment.

Jo said: ‘With exclusive, up close and extensive access to Princess Anne, her family and those closest to her, this fascinating film is a landmark event on a landmark birthday.’

Nicolas Kent, Creative Director for Oxford Films and Executive Producer for Princess Royal: Anne at 70, said: ‘It’s been fascinating, especially in such an eventful and significant year, to follow The Princess Royal and hear from her family, friends and colleagues, many of whom are speaking about her for the first time.’




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