The book, titled The Bench, will be released on 8 June 2021, and will be an illustrated story told through a mother’s eyes.
According to the publishers, Random House Children’s Books, the Duchess of Sussex’s book was inspired by her own husband and son, Prince Harry and Archie, with the press release describing it as a story that “touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family”.
“Evoking a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion, The Bench gives readers a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons - moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort,” the release reads.
In a statement, the duchess said that the story started as a poem written to Prince Harry on Father’s Day, the month after their first child was born in 2019.
The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” she recalled, adding that it came to life through illustrations by Caldecott-winning and best-selling artist Christian Robinson. “That poem became this story. Christian layered in 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.”
Meghan also shared her hope that the story “resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine”.
In addition to writing the book, the duchess has also narrated the audiobook version of the story, which will be released in the US by Listening Library, and in the UK by Penguin Random House UK Audio.
The illustrations are done in Robinson’s signature style, but see the illustrator working with watercolours for the first time.
In a statement, Mallory Loehr, EVP & publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group, said: “Meghan’s touching text explores the relationship between fathers and sons and undeniably tugs 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.
“The Bench is timeless - it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”