Duchess Meghan to publish children's book 'The Bench,' inspired by Prince Harry and Archie
Duchess Meghan is about to add another credit – children's book author – to her expanding portfolio.
The Duchess of Sussex has written and will publish in June her debut children's book, "The Bench," about "the special bond between father and son, as seen through a mother’s eyes."
Inspired by her own husband and son, Prince Harry and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who turns 2 on Thursday, Meghan's debut story is described by publisher Random House Children's Books as a touching capture of "the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons" that "reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family."
The book, to release on June 8, has been illustrated by award-winning and bestselling artist Christian Robinson, working in watercolors for the first time. Robinson received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in "Last Stop on Market Street."
Meghan also will narrate the audiobook edition, to be released in the U.S. and Canada by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group; and in the U.K. by Penguin Random House UK Audio, according to Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of RHCB.
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Meghan said in a statement that the book started as "a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born (in May 2019). That poem became this story."
She said Robinson created "beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life.
"This representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens," she said. "My hope is that 'The Bench' resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
Random House officials predict Meghan's "touching text" will "undeniably tug at the heartstrings that parents and caregivers feel.”
“Christian’s art beautifully matches the tender emotion of Meghan’s words, and every spread is infused with a vibrant sense of joy and love," said Mallory Loehr, executive vice president and publisher at Random House Books for Young Readers Group, in a statement.
" 'The Bench' is timeless – it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”
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The book, which will cost $18.99, will be published simultaneously by Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada; and Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s UK, in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.
Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, stepped back from their senior royal roles a year ago and moved to Southern California, where they are budding Hollywood moguls with Netflix and Spotify deals, and charitable activists through their Archewell Foundation.
Meghan is due to give birth to their second child, a girl, this summer.
She is not the first member of the British royal family to write a children's book: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, ex-wife of Prince Andrew, has written dozens, including several about Budgie the Little Helicopter.
Meghan's father-in-law, Prince Charles, has written multiple books, including two children's books. "The Old Man of Lochnagar," published in 1980 with watercolor illustrations, is the tale of a grumpy old man who lives in a cave in Scotland, only to discover it’s an entrance to the Gorm pixie world. The Prince of Wales wrote it for his younger brothers, Andrew and Edward, who were bored during the family's annual summer holiday at Balmoral, the royal estate in Scotland.