"My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine," the Duchess of Sussex said in a statement announcing the book

By Michelle Tauber and Erin Hill
May 04, 2021 10:58 AM
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Meghan Markle is about to be a published author.

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex announced that her first children's book, The Bench — which explores the bond between fathers and sons as seen through a mother's eyes — will be published on June 8.

In a press release, Meghan explained that the book was inspired by a Father's Day poem she wrote for her husband, Prince Harry. The couple are parents to son Archie, who turns 2 on Thursday, and are expecting a baby girl this summer.

"The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born," Meghan said in the press release from publisher Random House Children's Books. "That poem became this story."

The book is illustrated by Caldecott-winning artist Christian Robinson. The book jacket features an image of a bench beneath a tree, with chickens nearby. In the press release, Meghan is described as "a mother, wife, feminist, and activist" who "currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens." In Meghan and Harry's interview in March with Oprah Winfrey, they revealed that they have a chicken coop called the "Chick Inn," a favorite hangout for Archie.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor 1st birthday
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Archie
| Credit: The Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has authored and will publish on June 8, 2021, her first children’s book, THE BENCH
Meghan Markle's new children's book, The Bench
| Credit: Random House Books for Young Readers

"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 said. "My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”

An interior illustration from the book depicts a father in military uniform warmly greeting his son. Harry, a military veteran, served as a captain in the British Army.

Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has authored and will publish on June 8, 2021, her first children’s book, THE BENCH
The Bench by Meghan Markle
| Credit: Random House Books for Young Readers

Another illustration showcases a father sitting with his son under a tree featuring the words "From here you will rest. See the growth of our boy."

Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has authored and will publish on June 8, 2021, her first children’s book, THE BENCH
The Bench by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
| Credit: Random House Books for Young Readers

Meghan isn't the first royal to debut a children’s book. In 1980, Prince Charles published The Old Man of Lochnagar, which tells the story of an old man who lives in a cave in the cliffs surrounding the royal estate at Balmoral in Scotland, where the Queen spends her summer vacation. Sales from the book went to the royal’s charity, The Prince’s Trust.

Sarah Ferguson also penned a popular children’s series about Budgie the Little Helicopter. It was later turned into an animated TV show.

Meghan is a longtime book lover and even talked about the sweet tradition of passing the love of reading onto your children.