The former actress will release The Bench – an illustrated story told through a mother’s eyes – on 8 June 2021 and she’s revealed the tale was inspired by the bond between her husband, Prince Harry, and their 23-month-old son Archie.
The book has been illustrated by artist Christian Robinson and Meghan – who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, a daughter – hopes the story “resonates with every family, no matter the make-up, as much as it does with mine”.
She 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.”
In a statement, Mallory Loehr, EVP & publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers Group, added: “Meghan’s touching text explores the relationship between fathers and sons and undeniably tugs at the heartstrings that parents and caregivers feel. Christian’s art beautifully matches the tender emotion of Meghan’s words, and every spread is infused with a vibrant sense of joy and love.
“The Bench is timeless – it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”
Publishers Random House Children’s Books described ‘The Bench’ as a story which “touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family”.
A news release added: “Evoking a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion, The Bench gives readers a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons – moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.”
The duchess has also narrated an audiobook version of the story.