Meghan Markle's children's book tops fiction chart for 'values and virtues'

·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Meghan to release children’s book inspired by Harry and Archie

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Meghan Markle's first children's book has already hit the top of one Amazon book chart, as fans pre-order her debut publication.

Meghan announced on Tuesday 4 May that she had written The Bench, a children's book inspired by her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie, which will be released on 8 June. 

By Wednesday it had already taken two places in the top 10 of Amazon's children's fiction book chart, in the values and virtues category.

The hardback edition took the number one spot, while the kindle pre-order is positioned at number eight on that chart, and number two in the overall children's fiction list.

The book started as a poem which Meghan wrote for her husband, Harry. (Penguin)
The book started as a poem which Meghan wrote for her husband, Harry. (Random House Children’s Books (RHCB))

The Bench is also charting in other categories, sitting at number one in the emotions and feelings for children category, and number two in the family section.

Meghan, 39, who is expecting her second child with Prince Harry, said the book was inspired by a poem she wrote for her husband after his first Father's Day in 2019.

It has been illustrated by Caldecott-winning and bestselling artist Christian Robinson and is said to capture "the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons". 

The book was announced two days before their son Archie's second birthday, and will be released two days before what would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
Harry, Meghan and Archie in South Africa with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in September 2019. (Reuters/Toby Melville/Pool)
The illustrations feature one of a man in army fatigues returning home. (Penguin)
The illustrations feature one picture of a man in army fatigues returning home. (Random House Children’s Books (RHCB))

Read more: Piers Morgan attacks Meghan Markle's children's book about family relationships for being hypocritical

Meghan said: "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."

Her author biography reads that she is a "mother, wife, feminist, and activist. Through the nonprofit work of the Archewell Foundation, she and her husband are committed to activating compassion in communities across the world." 

It adds: "She currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens."

The Bench has been listed as the duchess's debut book. (Penguin)
The Bench has been listed as the duchess's debut book. (Random House Children’s Books (RHCB))

Read more: Princess Charlotte shows long locks in new image for her sixth birthday

Piers Morgan, who has been vocal in his disapproval of much of Harry and Meghan's actions since they stepped back from their senior royal duties, said: "What would make the current shortlist for the title of World's Most Ludicrously Inappropriate Book?... Meghan Markle has written a book called The Bench about the very special bond between father and child.

"Notwithstanding Ms Markle's seemingly unlimited thirst for committing attention-seeking acts of gargantuan hypocrisy, this seemed beyond parody."

Omid Scobie, royal editor of Harper's Bazaar, who wrote the Finding Freedom biography about Meghan and Harry, tweeted of the chart numbers: "The more they whinge and throw obsessive tantrums over it, the more it sells."

Harry, 36, and Meghan, live in California after stepping back from their senior royal duties and run a non-profit organisation called Archewell.

Harry also has a job as a chief impact officer for BetterUp, and has been working on a TV series for Apple on mental health.

The show, made with Oprah Winfrey, will air later this month

Watch: Meghan Markle Might Have Been "Wrong" About Royal Protocol Over Archie's Title

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