Meghan Markle's friend shares sneak peek inside duchess's first book

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·Royal Correspondent
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Watch: Duchess of Sussex writes children's book inspired by Harry and Archie

A friend of Meghan Markle has shared a glimpse inside the duchess's first book after receiving an advance copy.

Gray Malin, a photographer, posted videos on his Instagram stories which show The Bench, the first children's book by Meghan, including a handwritten note from her.

The videos show that the book arrived with a notecard reading: "With compliments of The Office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"Please enjoy this advance copy on behalf of Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex."

As well as the typed card, there was a sweet handwritten note inside, just for Malin.

The Bench has been listed as the duchess's debut book. (Penguin)
The Bench has been listed as the duchess's debut book. (Penguin)
The duchess wrote him a special note with the copy of the book. (Gray Malin/Instagram)
The duchess wrote him a special note with the copy of the book. (Gray Malin/Instagram)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex signs the visitors book during an engagement at Edes House, in Chichester, Britain October 3, 2018. Daniel Leal-Olivas/pool via Reuters
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex signing the visitors book during an engagement at Edes House, in Chichester, in 2018. She has now written a children's book. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/pool via Reuters)

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The note said: "Dear Gray, From one parent to another - all my love from my family to yours...

"As ever, Meghan."

The note is on a page with an illustration which bears a striking resemblance to Prince Harry.

The picture shows a red-headed and bearded man holding hands with a toddler, who has what appears to be curly red hair.

Photos and images seen of Archie so far show a similar hairstyle on the two-year-old. 

Gray Malin shared pictures of the copy of Meghan Markle's book which he has been sent ahead of the launch. (Gray Malin/Instagram)
Gray Malin shared pictures of the copy of Meghan Markle's book which he has been sent ahead of the launch. (Gray Malin/Instagram)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 04:  Author and photographer Gray Malin attends Gray Malin and Elizabeth Chambers celebrate Gray Malin's First Children's Book,
Author and photographer Gray Malin released his first children's book, "Be Our Guest!" in May 2018. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Gray Malin )

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Malin and Meghan have been friends for several years, with Malin interviewing Meghan back in 2015, before she met Prince Harry.

In a blog about her he referred to her as "lovely" and "multi-talented" and shared pictures from inside her Toronto home, where she was living while filming Suits.

Meghan had been given one of his images as a gift from her mother, but said that she wanted something that would remind her of the warmer climes of Los Angeles, her hometown, while she was in Toronto.

Speaking about the reason she felt connected to Malin, she said: "We both embrace a life of wanderlust! There’s that amazing quote; “Travelling is about the glorious feeling of teetering in the unknown.”

"I feel that is a huge part of both Gray and my ethos; so there’s a lot of synergy here."

Malin re-shared the blog in 2017 when Meghan and Harry got engaged, writing: "Times sure have changed for both of us in the last couple years! I woke up this morning to the news of her engagement to Prince Harry! Wow....just wow and a huge congratulations to you, Meghan!"

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. (Penguin)
The illustrations feature one of a man in army fatigues returning home. (Penguin)
The illustrations feature one of a man in army fatigues returning home. (Penguin)

Meghan announced in May that she would be releasing a children's book, which has been based on a poem she wrote for Harry in 2019, for his first Father's Day.

The illustrations, by artist Christian Robinson, show a diverse range of father and son relationships.

Speaking about her forthcoming venture, she 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. [Artist] Christian [Robinson] 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."

Speaking about her aim for the book, she said: "[I hope it] resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine”.

The book is released on 8 June, and can be pre-ordered now. 

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