Meghan Markle’s first book that she wrote when she was a young teenager has been revealed as a story about freckles.
The Duchess of Sussex penned the children’s story titled ‘A Face without Freckles Is A Night Without Stars’ when she was in eighth grade – aged 13-14.
She showed her business smarts by submitting it to the US Copyright Office on January 18, 1996, when she was 15.
Meghan released her most recent book The Bench last month and it has become a New York Times bestseller.
In a message to thank readers for buying it, the 39-year-old said it shows ‘another side of masculinity’.
Meanwhile the Duchess, who is married to Prince Harry, is gearing up for a ‘brutal showdown’ with Buckingham Palace amid bullying claims against her.
A source said she has demanded a point-by-point breakdown of the allegations and is ‘adamant the staff were not up to their job’.
The Duchess of Sussex penned the children’s story titled ‘A Face without Freckles Is A Night Without Stars’ when she was in eighth grade – aged 13-14
Meghan Markle’s (pictured in a video address to her old school last year) first book that she wrote when she was a young teenager has been revealed as a story about freckles
Meghan’s first children’s book was written when she was at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California, aged 13 or 14.
She wrote: ‘Some people think freckles are strange, while I happen to disagree, because if I didn’t have freckles, then I would not truly be me!!!’
At the back of the book in a message about the author it revealed she wrote the piece as part of a school project.
It said: ‘Meghan Markle currently attends Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California and enjoys watching television, spending time with her friends, and participating in musical comedies.
‘Meghan wrote this book in the eight grade as a school project and now wishes to continue writing throughout high school.
She wants to take a moment to thank her ”mommy” and ”daddy” who gratefully spent their time and effort supporting her.’
Meghan’s first children’s book was written when she was at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California, aged 13 or 14
At the back of the book in a message about the author it revealed she wrote the piece as part of a school project
Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, revealed the book in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
She also divulged that a year later Meghan had submitted the book to the US Copyright Office.
Ms Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to hold her post, tweeted: ‘Did you know Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, wrote a book in 8th grade titled, A Face without Freckles… Is a Night Without Stars.
‘She extols the wonder of freckles with drawings and verse. Meghan submitted it to the @CopyrightOffice in 1996.’
Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie later shared her tweet and said it was a children’s book ‘dedicated to her freckles’.
The US Copyright Office in Washington DC is part of the Library of Congress and holds records of copyright registration in the country.
It looks at hundreds of thousands of copyright claims a year which leads to an average of over half a million registrations annually.
Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, revealed the book in a Twitter post on Tuesday
Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie later shared her tweet and said it was a children’s book ‘dedicated to her freckles’
Meghan’s latest book The Bench hit the top of the New York Times bestseller list last week.
The Duchess wrote a message of thanks to readers, saying her children’s novel shows ‘another side of masculinity’.
She said: ‘While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere.
‘In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values.’
Meghan even went as far as to suggest her book could be part of a blueprint for a new world.
She said: ‘To depict another side of masculinity — one grounded in connection, emotion, and softness — is to model a world that so many would like to see for their sons and daughters alike.’
The book was number one on The New York Times Bestseller list for children’s picture books.
But it failed to hit the UK Official Top 50 chart after selling just 3,212 copies in its first week – being beaten by footballer Marcus Rashford’s self-help guide.
A bookshop employee places Meghan Markle’s children’s book The Bench on a shelf in London after its release on June 8
One of the illustrations in ‘The Bench’ which was written by Meghan and illustrated by Californian artist Christian Robinson
One illustration features a bearded ginger father – who bears a resemblance to Harry – cradling a baby on a bench under a tree
It explores the ‘special bond between father and son’ as ‘seen through a mother’s eyes’.
While the £12.99 title was the UK’s best-selling picture book last week after being released on June 8, it did not perform so well on the wider chart.
Early reviews for The Bench were not positive though one cooed ‘the book’s storytelling and illustration give us snapshots of shared moments that evoke a deep sense of warmth’.
Another described it as ‘soothing, loving, although a little schmaltzy in places’, while a third said it read ‘as if it has been penned as a self-help manual for need parents rather than as a story to entertain small kids’.
A further review said: ‘One wonders how any publisher could have thought fit to publish this grammar-defying set of badly rhyming cod homilies, let alone think any child anywhere would want to read it.
‘But that’s planet Sussex for you, where even the business of raising a family is all about the brand.’
Little Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – Harry and Meghan’s second child, who was born on June 4 – also features in the book – illustrated before she was born.
A picture shows the entire Sussex family in the garden of their Californian mansion.
Early reviews for Meghan’s first foray into writing were not universally positive, although one cooed that ‘the book’s storytelling and illustration give us snapshots of shared moments that evoke a deep sense of warmth’
A touching inscription in the book by the Duchess reads: ‘For the man and the boy who make my 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
Harry can be seen feeding their rescued battery hen chickens, with son Archie, two, with their two dogs, beagle Guy and black Labrador Pula.
And Meghan can been seen amidst her vegetable patch with a baby in a sling around her chest.
Another illustration features a bearded ginger father – who bears a resemblance to the duke – cradling a smiling baby on a bench under a tree.
The text reads: ‘This is your bench, where life will begin, for you and our son, our baby, our kin.’
In another illustration, a father and son duo each wear pink tutus while performing ballet poses.
The accompanying words read: ‘You’ll love him. You’ll listen. You’ll be his supporter.’
Alongside a picture of a father and son playing with toy dinosaurs, Meghan wrote: ‘When life feels in shambles, you’ll help him find order.’
A father using a wheelchair also features in The Bench. He is drawn fixing his son’s shoes.
It says: ‘This is your bench, for papa and son.’ It continues on the next page alongside a father and son wearing turbans: ‘To celebrate joys and victories won.’
An inscription in the book, reproduced from a hand-written note in the Duchess’s calligraphy script, reads: ‘For the man and the boy who make my 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.
Industry experts have suggested she could have commanded a £500,000 advance alone. The Bench is illustrated by bestselling Californian artist Christian Robinson.
Meanwhile Meghan is heading for a ‘brutal showdown’ with Buckingham Palace as she denies all claims of bullying against her.
The Duchess has demanded a breakdown of the allegations and is ‘adamant the staff were not up to their job’, a source close to the independent inquiry claimed.
A senior Palace aide accused the Duchess of Sussex of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ towards two personal assistants and undermining the confidence of a third.
The Palace has launched an inquiry into the claims, conducted by an external independent legal firm.
But in a clear indication the Duchess is preparing to fight back, a Palace source in March confirmed her office had ‘written to request’ all documents.
And now, sources fear the inquiry will turn into a ‘brutal showdown’ between the Sussex camp in California and the Palace.
Meghan Markle (left) is heading for a ‘brutal showdown’ with Buckingham Palace (the Queen, right) as she denies all claims of bullying against her
Prince William and Kate with Prince Harry and Meghan during the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2019
A source close to the inquiry told The Mirror: ‘The feeling is this is heading for a brutal showdown between the Duchess of Sussex who is understood to be disputing all allegations labelled against her.
‘The Palace is taking each and every allegation very seriously and wants to get to the truth of the matter and ensure those speaking up deserve to be heard.
‘But Meghan is adamant the staff were not up to their job and could not deal with the pressure of working for her and understanding how she wanted things to run.’
The alleged bullying behaviour first came to light when an email sent by Jason Knauf, the couple’s then press secretary, was leaked to The Times.
Written in October 2018 when the Sussexes were still living at Kensington Palace, Mr Knauf wrote: ‘I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X [Name redacted] was totally unacceptable.
‘The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence.
‘We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.’
The email was sent to Simon Case, then the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary and now the Cabinet Secretary, reportedly after Mr Knauf’s conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of HR at the Palace.
In his email, Mr Knauf said Ms Carruthers had ‘agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious’.
He added: ‘I remain concerned that nothing will be done.’
Buckingham Palace has said it is ‘clearly very concerned’ about the allegations, adding: ‘Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.’
But the Duchess’s spokesman hit back saying she ‘is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma’.