After securing a Netflix deal and a Spotify deal, starting a charity organization, and dabbling in the tech world, the Markles have decided on the next industry they’re dipping their toes in as part of their post-royal life: book publishing. I know international fame has been far from an easy ride for Meghan and Harry, but it certainly sounds nice to have the resources and visibility to pursue literally anything and everything you want to do at the exact same time!
On Tuesday, Meghan announced that she will be releasing her debut children’s book, called The Bench, on June 8th. The Bench, which is being published by Penguin Random House Children’s Books, reportedly takes a look at “the evolving and expanding relationship between father and son” through the eyes of a mother, as well as “the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family.” The book also features watercolor images by Caldecott award-winning Black illustrator Christian Robinson.
Although racial diversity has become more of a priority in the children’s publishing industry in recent years, only 30% of children’s books published in 2020 were about characters of color. In a statement about The Bench, Meghan explained that showing a diversity of father-son relationships was integral to the story. “[Christian Robinson] 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,” she wrote. “This representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens.”
Meghan also revealed that the book had started off as a poem she wrote for Harry on Father’s Day in 2018, soon after their son Archie was born. “That poem became this story,” she wrote. “My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”