Meghan Markle announces children's book 'inspired by' Archie

While the world awaits the arrival of Meghan Markle's second child with Prince Harry, the duchess has announced some more exciting news: she's releasing a children's book.

The 39-year-old's debut book, which is set for release on June 8, 2021, is titled The Bench and is aimed at children aged 3 to 7 years old.

Meghan Markle waves to the crowd at a public event
Meghan Markle is set to release her debut children's book in June. Photo: Getty Images.

The front cover of the 40-page book, illustrated by award-winning LA-based artist Christian Robinson, features a wooden bench underneath a leafy tree. Author Meghan is credited as, "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex".

Meghan has revealed that the inspiration for The Bench, which focuses on the relationship between fathers and sons, through a mother's eyes, came from close to home.

"The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born," the former Suits star said in the announcement.


The front cover of Meghan Markle's book, The Bench
The duchess' book, The Bench, is illustrated by LA artist, Christian Robinson. Photo: Penguin Random House.

"That poem became this story. [Artist] Christian [Robinson] layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolour 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."

Speaking about her aim for the book, Meghan said: "[I hope it] resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine".

Meghan's book has been met with positivity and some surprise from fans on social media.

"I’m so excited for this!" wrote one on Instagram.

"So proud of her," added another.

"Well... I didn't see it coming," said a third.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor at a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa
Meghan's children's book was inspired by a poem she wrote for Prince Harry on Father's Day after the birth of their son, Archie. Photo: Getty Images.

Former Good Morning Britain host, Piers Morgan, however, was none too pleased with the duchess' news, penning a scathing op-ed for Daily Mail in which he takes aim at her own relationship with her estranged father.

"How the hell can Meghan 'I hate royalty but call me Duchess' Markle preach about father-child relationships when she's disowned her own Dad, and wrecked her husband's relationship with his?" he tweeted.

The Bench will be published by Penguin Random House and is available for pre-order for AUD$25 now.

It will also come in audiobook form which the Duchess of Sussex will narrate herself.

This will be Meghan's first children's book but her second literary release to date after joining (then subsequently leaving) the royal family.

In 2018, she released a cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook, to raise funds to support families affected by the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London.

She's not the only duchess who's dabbled in children's books. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is an established kids' author with dozens of titles to her name.

Piers Morgan has posted a scathing tweet about Meghan Markle's new children's book. Photo: Twitter/piersmorgan.
Piers Morgan has posted a scathing tweet about Meghan Markle's new children's book. Photo: Twitter/piersmorgan.

Additional reporting by Maisie Bovington.

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