Meghan Markle is adding “published author” to her growing list of accomplishments.
On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex announced the upcoming release of her first children’s book, The Bench. Loosely based on a a Father’s Day poem she wrote for Prince Harry, the book explores the tight bond between a father and son as seen through the eyes of the mother. The Bench, which is illustrated by Caldecott-winning artist Christian Robinson, will be available for purchase June 8.
In a press release, Markle revealed that “The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story.”
The illustrated book cover features an image of a bench shaded by a tree, with chickens nearby. The addition of the little feathered companions harkens back to Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey in March where the couple revealed they had a chicken coop called “Archie’s Chick Inn” that their son absolutely adores.
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“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 in the press release. “My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
Following their highly-anticipated Oprah interview and Harry’s return to London for grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April, Markle and Harry have resumed their quiet lives in California, where the couple live with son Archie, who turns two this week. The pair are expecting their second child, a girl, this summer.
Markle isn’t the first royal to release a children’s book. In 1980, Prince Charles published The Old Man of Lochnagar, about a lonely man who lives on the cliffs of the Balmoral estate where Queen Elizabeth often resides. Sales went to The Prince’s Trust charity. In addition, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has authored the popular Budgie the Little Helicopter series which has since been turned into an animated TV series in the UK.