Wednesday 20 April 2016

Queen's 90th Birthday and Thomas The Tank Engine Visits London

The Queen actually turns 90 tomorrow 21st April 2016, with her official birthday being celebrated with the nation on 10th June 2016. However, there are celebrations throughout the land during April, May and June, including street parties/tea parties and much more. 

The major celebration is this one:

May 12 – 15: Every evening from May 12 until May 15, a 900 horse extravaganza is on the cards with 1,500 riders, actors, dancers, musicians and other performers taking part in a 90-minute show at the 655-acre private Home Park in Windsor.

Video projection, LED effects, and theatrical lighting are said to feature in the show, which will depict a journey through her 90 years including the Queen’s birth, World War II, her marriage, the coronation and her reign.

All 25,000 tickets are already sold out (what!) but there’s a chance you can get one of 5,000 free tickets HERE. If you do miss out, ITV is broadcasting the final night on May 15, when the Queen will attend, live with Ant & Dec anyway (phew).
It's hard to believe that she doesn't turn 90 until tomorrow with how much it is being covered on the TV today. Feels like all of the advertisements feature the 90th in some way and right now as I type this, Holly and Phillip are covering the birthday on This Morning.

They've just shown the official photo that was taken of 4 generations, showing all of those immediately in line for the throne. 

Everyone is talking about it today due to Prince Harry standing on blocks, which the photographer had to do, as each image is being used for a postage stamp so he needed clear space around each face and couldn't therefore have little Prince George sitting on anyone's knee.

Inside cover of A Visit to London for Thomas The Tank Engine
As regular readers will know, Aaron has been a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan for years and years, so we were delighted to hear that THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE™ MAKES TRACKS IN LONDON
Egmont, the children's publisher has released a modern twist on a classic tale that sees Thomas visit London to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday.
The book: A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine

In this new book, the little blue engine makes his way to London to celebrate an exciting milestone in British history: the Queen’s 90th Birthday.   On his way to the capital, Thomas visits a number of iconic London landmarks, from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge, before arriving at Buckingham Palace to wish the Queen a ‘happy birthday’.
We received the book last week and although Aaron is now too young old to have a Thomas book read to him, I was thrilled to see that the wording is hard enough to stretch him, but easy enough that he could read it unaided. He only needed help with a few words. He is five years of age, two months away from six, is in year 1 at school and is reading level 12. It's such an interesting AND educational book for him to read - an added bonus that Thomas has been such a favourite all his life! He's read the book a few times already, with Daddy being thrilled with his reading ability. There is so much history in the book with it covering a large number of London landmarks including the Tower of London and even the Cutty Sark.
A list of the characters and their names in A Visit to London for Thomas The Tank Engine
The book also sees Thomas and the Fat Controller visit modern day landmarks such as the Shard and the London Eye, adding a modern twist to this iconic British classic.  As a much-loved British institution with enduring appeal, Thomas & Friends™ has been loved by generations for over 70 years. Without losing Thomas’s heritage and charm, A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine is current and appealing to today’s *pre-schoolers.

^ *Although that is the official word, Aaron is in year 1 at school (second year, with Reception being the first year of school in the UK) and he really loves the book having read it several times already. He knows Big Ben and really connects with the illustrations and finds the text a fab read! 
Boarding Barge in A Visit to London for Thomas The Tank Engine

Sue Allan, Publishing Director for Brands and Licensing at Egmont Publishing, commented: “We decided that Thomas’s next journey should be to the big city as it felt fitting that he should do his part to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. While getting Thomas to London was simple, navigating him around the capital’s most iconic attractions was a challenge, particularly as many of them are not on the railway lines. We ended up treating him to a trip on a barge down the river Thames! We really hope the book gets children excited about London and inspired to visit the capital this summer.
Travelling the Thames in A Visit to London for Thomas The Tank Engine
The original Thomas the Tank Engine books were written by the Reverend W. Awdry, with the first being published in 1945. To date, over 200 million Thomas & Friends books have been sold around the world.

A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine is now available in stores priced at £6.99.

You can WIN a copy in my GIVEAWAY here:
- all entry options are mandatory. You MUST tweet the competition using the widget below. You MUST follow @NewMumOnline on Twitter and you must comment on this blog post - see widget below. Finally, you must be resident in the UK.
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Thomas meets the Queen in A Visit to London for Thomas The Tank Engine
New research
from children’s book publisher 
Egmont revealed
  • a third of children would like to pay a visit to the Queen at Buckingham Palace
  • little ones top favourite attractions: The Science Museum, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
Key findings:

  • Buckingham Palace visit is more popular with children than Big Ben and the Natural History Museum.
  • A third (32%) of children would like to visit Buckingham Palace on a London visit.
  • Nearly all (90%) children surveyed who haven't been to the Capital want to visit London.
  • Yet, 37% have not had the opportunity to visit the Capital yet!
  • Almost 40% of children are inspired to follow in the footsteps of their favourite story book characters.
  • When asked where they think the Queen lives, 90% knew she lives at Buckingham Palace.

Science Museum
London Eye
Buckingham Palace
Big Ben
Natural History Museum
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Tower of London
Tower Bridge
The River Thames
Houses of Parliament

One of the city’s biggest draws for little ones appears to be its range of family friendly attractions, with the Science Museum being ranked number one (37 per cent) as children’s favourite place to visit in London.

The Natural History Museum (30 per cent) and SEA LIFE London Aquarium (21 per cent) were also big hits, being ranked fifth and sixth in the top ten. And, London’s iconic architecture, both modern and historical, certainly do not fall short, with the London Eye being children’s second fnavourite place (37 per cent) to visit and Big Ben (31 per cent) and the Tower of London (24 per cent) being highly placed at fourth and seventh. 

Topping the poll of parents’ favourite landmarks to visit with their families is Buckingham Palace, accounting for 33 percent. And, museum attractions also scored highly on parents’ ‘must-visit’ list with the Natural History Museum coming in a close second (30 per cent) while the Science Museum and British Museum took fifth (28 per cent) and eighth place (19 per cent) respectively.

When asked what they think of London, one in ten children (11 per cent) said that they find the city noisy and scary but the majority of those polled (40 per cent) think London is big and exciting while almost one in five (18 per cent) think the city is really fun. 

Despite many children enjoying the great culture and attractions of the Capital, over a third (37 per cent) have still never visited London. For those that haven’t visited the city, 38 per cent say that this is due to being too far away, 26 per cent said it would be too expensive and 20 per cent say that they think they are too young to visit.

Egmont UK commissioned One Poll to survey 1,000 British children aged 6-10 years old in April 2016.

A Visit to London for Thomas the Tank Engine is available in stores now for £6.99.
WIN a copy of A Visit To London for Thomas The Tank Engine

At the moment I can't get enough of the facts and figures surrounding the Queen's 90 years. I've turned into a history buff and this fabulous Infographic by NRS Healthcare showing 90 facts, laid out in a timeline is just perfect for satisfying my curiosity. Even The Metro thought it was worth sharing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. NRS Healthcare specialise in mobility aids for the eldery but want to crush limiting negative stereotypes and the Queen's excellent health at 90 years of age provides the perfect role model for their AGE UK campaigns, such as "As Young As You Feel".

This post is a collaboration with Egmont Publishing and NRS Healthcare, who are not connected with each other in any way. I made the umbrella to include them in this blog post, given all of the 90th birthday coverage I am seeing on TV today.

I've added this post to Super Lucky Di's blog competition linkup for comps ending in May 2016
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

ThePrizeFinder - See more at:


  1. The Tower of London,but it's been years since I last went to London.

    1. Oh I went there once and found it very pricey for the entrance. Thanks so much for entering the comp x

  2. We love the area of Buckingham Palace

  3. So many to choose from, but probably The Tower of London, for The Crown Jewels.

  4. Has to be Buckingham Palace for me


  5. I love Big Ben - I remember how amazed I was by it's size when I was a kid!

  6. I love big Ben I remember always talking about it as a child

  7. I love big Ben I remember always talking about it as a child

  8. Tower Bridge. It is stunning.

  9. MY favourite is the British Museum. Also love the Science Museum!

  10. Science Museum

  11. The London Eye, but I haven't been on it yet

  12. This would be perfect for my grandson Jake, he loves Thomas & his friends. He knows every single on of their names & I believe there are now over 50 characters. I often get them wrong only to be corrected by him!!

    1. Forgot to add Buckingham Palace. I've only been to London once, I'd love to go again one day & be a tourist, camera around my neck style tourist too.

  13. It's got to be Buckingham palace

  14. the natural history museum,beautiful building holding so much fun and education

  15. The Natural History Museum is beautiful

  16. I love the Tower of London

  17. BIt has to be Buckingham Palace!

  18. Big Ben so iconic love seeing it when visiting London and hearing its dongs

  19. Ive never been but I would love to go on the London Eye

  20. Buckingham Palace has always been a favourite of mine! Hasvent been for a while due to londonn always being so busy!

  21. Churchill War Rooms so much history


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