"The Duchess believes the path ahead must include a focus on well-being," according to a statement on the Archewell Foundation website

By Stephanie Petit
June 10, 2021 11:46 AM
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meghan markle
Meghan Markle
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Meghan Markle is sharing her first children's book with families across America.

One day after The Bench, which explores the bond between fathers and sons as seen through a mother's eyes, was released on Tuesday, Meghan and Prince Harry announced through their Archewell Foundation website that they were donating 2,000 copies of the book to schools, libraries and more.

"After more than a year of unprecedented challenges for schoolkids and families everywhere, The Duchess believes the path ahead must include a focus on well-being - and nourishing our communities through food, education, and emotional and mental health support," the statement said. "At Archewell, that is often centered on food and essential needs (as evidenced by our partnership with organizations like World Central Kitchen) but also nourishment through learning and connection (as seen in The Duchess's support of last year's Save With Stories initiative to raise funds for educational resources like books, toys, and worksheets)." 

They continued, "As an example of this belief system, The Duchess and Archewell have received the support of the publisher of The Bench to distribute 2,000 copies at no cost to libraries, community centers, schools, and nonprofit programs across the country."

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

Among the organizations receiving a copy of the book is the Assistance League® of Los Angeles, which Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, visited twice last year to spend time with children from their Preschool Learning Center.

Archewell is partnering with nonprofit First Book to distribute the books around the country.

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Meghan 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 following the birth of their 2-year-old son Archie in 2019.

"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 and Harry's family is featured multiple times in the book - including their daughter Lilibet Diana, who was born on June 4. The book's 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 baby Lili in a sling!  

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Even the family's beloved animals were included: the scene shows their two dogs, a beagle named Guy and a black Labrador named Pula.