The dedication even appears in Meghan's own handwriting

By Stephanie Petit
June 08, 2021 10:50 AM
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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie in South Africa in September 2019.
| Credit: Henk Kruger/AP/Shutterstock

Meghan Markle's new children's book is dedicated to two special guys in her life.

The Bench, released on June 8, includes a dedication her husband Prince Harry and their 2-year-old son, Archie: "For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump," it reads, written in Meghan's recognizable penmanship inspired by her previous work as a calligrapher.

Meghan, 39, previously shared that the book explores the bond between fathers and sons as seen through a mother's eyes and was inspired by a Father's Day poem she penned.

"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 Bench
The Bench by Meghan Markle
| Credit: Stephanie Petit
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

The children's book also seems to include a nod to Lilibet "Lili" Diana, the couple's daughter whom they welcomed just a few days ago on June 4. The final illustration appears to be inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's lives in California, with Harry sitting on the bench feeding chickens with Archie. A woman wearing a sun hat, representing Meghan, stands in a garden with a baby in a sling.

Not only did Meghan and Harry introduce the world to their chickens (who live in a coop known as "Archie's Chick Inn") during their interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired in March, but the drawing also includes the family's two dogs: a beagle named Guy and Pula, a black Labrador.

The Bench
The Bench by Meghan Markle
| Credit: Stephanie Petit

Meghan's biography, which includes an illustration of her wearing her hair in a low bun, also references her many animals.

"Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is a mother, wife, feminist, and activist," it says. "Through the nonprofit work of the Archewell Foundation, she and her husband are committed to activating compassion in communities across the world. She currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens."

The Bench
The Bench by Meghan Markle
| Credit: Stephanie Petit

Photographer Gray Malin, a friend of Meghan's, offered a glimpse inside the book on his Instagram Story on Thursday. On the page was a previously unseen illustration from the book, which appears to show Prince Harry holding hands with Archie.

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

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The book is illustrated by Caldecott-winning artist Christian Robinson.

"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."

Robinson told TODAY on Tuesday, "There's a gentleness to this story, and I think it complements the gentle nature of watercolor."

He shared that connecting with Meghan over Zoom to collaborate on the book during the pandemic "was just like a ray of light in my life, and I'm just again really glad I got to be part of it."