Meghan says Archie 'picks up on everything' and 'loves reading' - including her book

·Royal Correspondent

Watch: Meghan Markle is officially a bestselling author

Meghan Markle has revealed that her son Archie loves her first children's book and has a "voracious appetite" for reading. 

The Duchess of Sussex released the book, The Bench, earlier this month, based on a poem she wrote for Prince Harry on his first Father's Day two years ago. 

The book features a series of verses about father and son relationships as the boy grows up.

Reflecting on the illustrations in her book, which were done by award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson she said: "Kids they just pick up on everything, that was one of the pieces that was important for me, even on the homecoming scene with the military dad... 'Ok, what is he doing, maybe he's sitting on a bench, maybe he's reading a book maybe he has dropped his popsicle because he is so excited'.

"Because I knew Archie, I knew our son would notice all of those elements. 

"He loves it, Archie loves the book which is great because he has a voracious appetite for books and constantly when we read him a book he goes 'again, again, again'.

"Now the fact that he loves The Bench and we can go 'Mommy wrote this for you', it feels amazing."

She said there were "special details" in the book including forget-me-nots, which were Princess Diana's favourite flower, and her mother, Doria Ragland's, favourite flower too.

Meghan was speaking to NPR radio in her only interview about the book, The Bench, which became a New York Times bestseller soon after its release on 8 June.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Harry, Meghan and Archie in South Africa during their own royal tour as a family in September 2019. (Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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The interview was recorded for Father's Day before the arrival of their daughter Lilibet. The couple has taken parental leave for five months in line with the benefits they offer Archewell employees. 

Meghan revealed the first gift she bought Harry when he became a father, sharing that The Bench wasn't just a poem, but a physical gift, with the verses written on a plaque.

She said: "I thought I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son."

The couple was living in Frogmore Cottage at the time, the Windsor home they were given by the Queen when they married in 2018. 

The interview came as the Mail On Sunday reported that Archie won't be made a prince when Charles becomes king, despite that being the current royal convention.

The current protocol is that grandchildren of the reigning monarch are automatically princes and princesses, which would mean that Archie and his sister Lilibet would inherit the titles when he accedes.

But the paper alleges Charles is set to change this as part of his slimmed down monarchy.

Meghan, 39, claimed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey in March that there were plans to start changing the convention before Archie, now two, was born.

She claimed it was because of the colour his skin would be. Buckingham Palace said at the time the issues raised about race were concerning and it would deal with matters raised privately. 

A detail from the children's book 'The Bench' by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, which is inspired by her husband Harry and her son Archie, is pictured on display in a bookshop in London on June 8, 2021, following its release. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The Bench illustrations include pictures of Harry and Archie as well as other families. (Tolga Akmen/AFP)

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In the interview, Meghan said she wanted the illustrations of the book to reflect a diverse range of people, saying: "Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented.

"Any child or any family hopefully can open this book and see themselves in it, whether that means glasses or freckled or a different body shape or a different ethnicity or religion."

The first and last images are the Sussexes, but Meghan confirmed that one image which has been speculated to be Harry was actually based on another military family she met before she was married to the Duke of Sussex.

The image of the soldier returning home and hugging his son is actually representative of someone she met when she was on a USO tour, Sergeant Strong, who told her about posting a baseball back and forth between Texas and Afghanistan with his son because he was not home to teach him to play catch.

The Bench, by Meghan the Duchess of Sussex, is out now.

Watch: What you need to know about Meghan's book

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