'The Bench': Meghan Markle releases children's book

The book features an illustration of Prince Harry and their son Archie

The Duchess of Sussex's children's book, 'The Bench', is out now. AP
The Duchess of Sussex's children's book, 'The Bench', is out now. AP

It's been a busy week for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Only four days after the birth of her daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, the actress-turned-royal's children's book, The Bench, has been released.

Hitting physical and virtual shelves on Tuesday, the book was written by Markle and illustrated by artist Christian Robinson. It is also accompanied by an audiobook narrated by the duchess.

The story is about the relationship between a father and son, inspired by her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie, 2, and features an illustration of the pair holding hands.

The illustration on the inside cover of 'The Bench'. Gray Malin / Instagram Stories
The illustration on the inside cover of 'The Bench', by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Gray Malin / Instagram Stories

A preview of the book's inside cover featuring the illustration was shared by US photographer Gray Malin, who was gifted an advance copy by the former Suits star's office.

Markle announced she was to release a children's book last month.

"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 duchess said when revealing the book.

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

An illustration from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's book "The bench" is seen in this undated handout obtained by Reuters June 7, 2021. Penguin Random House/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. NEWS ACCESS ONLY. NO USE AFTER 2300GMT ON JULY 8, 2021.
An illustration from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's book 'The Bench'. Reuters

Not without controversy, the Los Angeles-born duchess was accused of plagiarism, as many on Twitter were quick to point out the similarities between the title, artwork and even storyline of UK author Corrinne Averiss’s 2018 book The Boy on the Bench.

Averiss, however, defended Markle on Twitter: “Reading the description and published excerpt of the duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities.”

The couple welcomed a baby girl last Friday. The newborn, named Lilibet Diana, is to go by Lili, and is named after her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose childhood nickname was Lilibet. Her middle name is a tribute to her grandmother, the late Princess Diana.

'The Bench' is available to order on Amazon.ae for Dh99.92

Updated: June 8, 2021 01:31 PM


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