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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has written her first children’s book.
“The Bench,” which will be published on June 8, is about the connection between father and son, as seen through a mother’s eyes — and was inspired by Prince Harry’s relationship with the couple’s son, Archie Harrison, according to a press release from Penguin Random House that was obtained by Insider.
The book has been illustrated by Christian Robinson and will be published by Random House Children’s Books, the press release says.
Meghan Markle has also narrated the audiobook edition of the book, which will be released in the US and Canada by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, according to the publisher. It will be released in the UK by Penguin Random House UK Audio, the press release says.
“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 press release reads.
Markle started writing the book in June 2019 shortly after Archie’s birth in May of that year.
“‘The Bench’ started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” the duchess is quoted saying in the same press release.”That poem became this story,” she added.
Markle said in the press release that it was important to both herself and the illustrator to make sure the images in the book were inclusive.
“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,” Markle said.
“My hope is that ‘The Bench’ resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine,” she added.
Markle and Harry are expecting their second child, a baby girl, in the summer. The couple revealed the baby’s gender during their interview with Oprah in March.