Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has written her first picture book.
The Bench is a picture book about a father and his relationship with his son, as depicted through the eyes of the mother. The story was inspired by Meghan watching her husband, Prince Harry, bond with their son, Archie.
Archie was born on May 6, 2019.
The Bench will be illustrated by Christian Robinson. Robinson is an American illustrator who has worked with Pixar and the Sesame Street Workshop. He has illustrated several picture books, including Rain! by Linda Ashman, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett.
Last Stop on Market Street received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and a Caldecott Honor. It also won the 2016 Newbery Medal.
“The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” Meghan said in a press release. “That poem became this story. Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolour 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. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
The Bench will be published on June 8, 2021. In Canada, it will be published by Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada.
An audiobook version, narrated by Meghan, will also be released.
The Bench is the second book Meghan has worked on.
In 2018, she worked on and wrote the forward to Together, a cookbook compiling recipes from survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in London. In the aftermath of the fire, several women came together at the Hubb Community Kitchen to share recipes, find community and restore hope. Meghan became involved in the group, and the cookbook serves as a fundraiser for the kitchen.
Meghan lived in Toronto from 2011 to 2017, while she filmed the TV show Suits.
She married Prince Harry in 2018. They left their royal duties in 2020 and now live in Los Angeles. The couple are expecting their second child this summer.
Since ending their royal duties, Harry and Meghan have continued charity work, have signed TV and other media deals and launched a podcast in December 2020.