The Duchess of Sussex has high ambitions for her children’s book and not just in the sales department. Meghan Markle is hoping the book will educate readers on “another side of masculinity, one grounded in connection, emotion, and softness”.
The book, called The Bench, is inspired by the inseparable bond shared between Prince Harry and their firstborn, two-year-old Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
It was released on 8 June, just four days after the couple welcomed their second-born, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. It’s already been listed as No 1 on the New York times bestseller list.
“Thank you for supporting me in this special project,” she penned on the Archewell Foundation website.
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The 39-year-old duchess further revealed that the poem was initially written in 2019 for Father’s Day, just weeks after Archie’s birth. “While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere.”
Meghan also believes that, “In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values.”
Using water illustrations by Christian Robinson, the book captures the love shared between fathers and their sons from diverse racial groups, and features Harry, Archie and their dogs in the garden.
“This representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens,” she said in a separate statement.
The 40-page children’s book was published in partnership with Random House Children’s Books and also features an audio edition narrated by Meghan.
“My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine,” the duchess added in a statement ahead of the launch.
This isn’t Meghan’s first foray into the publishing world. In 2018 she wrote the foreword to Together: Our Community Cookbook, which was put together by a cooperative of women in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London. The book topped the bestseller charts on Amazon.
Sources: Harper’s Bazaar, People, Vanity Fair