A first look at Meghan Markle’s children’s book The Bench has revealed several illustrations of Prince Harry and son Archie – including one feeding their chickens while the duchess is in the garden with her dogs.
Meghan and Prince Harry’s daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who arrived on Friday and was announced to the world yesterday, even makes an appearance in her mother’s latest project – with the little one being cradled in the duchess’ arms while in a vegetable patch.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, announced last month that the £12.99 book is inspired by a poem she wrote for her husband on Father’s Day the month after Archie was born, and will explore the ‘special bond between father and son’ as ‘seen through a mother’s eyes’.
It has been released in Australia ahead of its launch in the UK tomorrow, with Meghan dedicating it to Prince Harry and Archie, saying they make her heart go ‘pump-pump.’
It is not known if Meghan has received an advance for the book and whether any of the proceeds will be donated to charity, but a branding expert previously suggested it would have already netted her £500,000 following a ‘bidding war to secure her first venture’.
Meghan Markle’s children’s book The Bench features an illustration of Prince Harry and son Archie feeding their chickens while the duchess is in the garden with her dogs (pictured)
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, announced last month she would release the book, and said it was inspired by a poem she had written for Harry on Father’s Day the month after Archie was born and will explore the ‘special bond between father and son’ as ‘seen through a mother’s eyes’
In one of the last images featured in the book Prince Harry, recognisable with his ginger hair and beard, sits on a bench feeding his rescue chickens, which the couple house at their £11million mansion in Montecito.
He appears alongside his son Archie, two, who is captured sprinkling food for the three animals while staring adoringly at this father.
Meanwhile, Meghan, dressed in a summer’s hat, white T-shirt and jeans, appears to be sketched in a vegetable patch located near her husband and son. The mother-of-two cradles her daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who arrived on Friday.
Meghan dedicated her 34-page illustrated story to Prince Harry and son Archie, saying they make her heart go ‘pump-pump.’
The touching inscription in the book, reproduced from a hand-written note in the Duchess of Sussex’s distinctive calligraphy script, reads: ‘For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump.’
Meghan has gifted copies of The Bench to her Hollywood friends, with photographer pal Gray Malin, from Los Angeles, promoting the book to his 35,400 followers on Instagram on Friday, sharing a clip as he opened the first page to reveal an unseen illustration of Prince Harry and Archie.
The duchess’ Pilates instructor and friend Heather Dorak was also sent a copy, with a penned note from the former-actress reading: ‘From one momma to another – for the love of our boys.’
It is not known if Meghan has received an advance for the book and whether any of the proceeds will be donated to charity, but a branding expert previously suggested it would have already netted her £500,000 following a ‘bidding war to secure her first venture’
Meghan’s Pilates instructor and friend Heather Dorak was sent a copy, with a penned note from the former-actress reading: ‘From one momma to another – for the love of our boys.’ (pictured)
Meghan sent a copy of her children’s book to a Hollywood friend, photographer pal Gray Malin, with a personal note ahead of its release tomorrow
The Duchess had also penned a note to Gray on the first page of the book, writing: ‘From one parent to another – all my love from my family to yours. As ever, Meghan.’
It’s far from the first time that Meghan’s friends have promoted one of her post-Megxit projects for her. In December, Oprah Winfrey shared a basket of coffee latte treats from a brand the Duchess had invested in with her 19 million followers.
Elsewhere, the first illustration in the book is also one of Prince Harry and baby Archie walking hand-in-hand together. The Duke could be seen wearing a grey polo shirt and blue jeans. The royal has been seen wearing a similar outfit while out and about in Los Angeles with Meghan, as well as during his time as a royal.
Meanwhile the Duke’s illustration is seen looking down at his son, who is wearing a green top and blue shorts in the picture.
The children’s book, which will be published on June 8 by Random House Children’s Books, is illustrated by bestselling Californian artist Christian Robinson, who was brought up by his grandmother in a one-bedroom flat also shared with his brother, two cousins and aunt.
In one illustration in The Bench, a red-headed soldier wearing an American-style Army cap is seen holding his young son aloft as a woman watches on crying from a window (pictured)
Another image features a father with his baby boy sleeping on a lounger outside. A media release said the book featured a ‘diverse group of fathers and sons’
A publicity release said Meghan, who chose to use her title on the cover of the book, wanted the story to be told through an ‘inclusive lens’ and will feature a ‘diverse group of father and sons’. Meghan will also narrate the audiobook costing $4.99 – which together with the hardback version could earn her millions from sales.
In one illustration previously released, a red-headed soldier wearing an American-style Army cap is seen holding his young son aloft as a woman watches on crying from a window.
This is a likely reference to her and Harry, who served in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals. The words read: ‘This is your bench, Where life begins, For you and our son our baby, our kin’.
The royal, who went by the pen name ‘Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’, said in a statement: ‘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. 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.’
Popular culture expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL that the Duchess of Sussex would’ve likely been paid between a £250,000 to £500,000 advance to write the book.
In authoring a children’s book she follows in the footsteps of fellow Royals Sarah, the Duchess of York, who has produced her own money-spinning series, Princess Michael of Kent and even Prince Charles, who penned a children’s book called The Old Man of Lochnagar in 1980 to raise money for the Children’s Trust.