Meghan Markle gave Prince Harry an untraditional gift for his first Father’s Day in 2019, a personalized bench, which served as the inspiration for her new children’s picture book.
For Prince Harry’s first Father’s Day, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, got him a bench. And on a plaque on the back of the bench, she wrote a poem, about the moments she hoped they’d share on that bench. Two years later, that poem is now a children’s book.https://t.co/E9yzeJwehf
— NPR (@NPR) June 20, 2021
The former actress has previously told how she came up with the idea for her literary project The Bench after watching her husband bond with their now-two-year-old son Archie, and in a new interview with America’s National Public Radio, she reveals the title comes from an actual piece of furniture she bought for the British royal back in 2019.
She had the garden bench fitted with a plaque which was engraved with a poem she had written for Harry.
“As most of us do, you go, ‘What am I going to get them as a gift?’ And I thought I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son,” Meghan explained.
“I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet. It was definitely moments like that, watching them from out of the window and watching (Harry) just, you know, rock him (Archie) to sleep or carry him or, you know… those lived experiences, from my observation, are the things that I infused in this poem.”
The poem was expanded to form the story of The Bench, which features a number of special tributes to her family – as well as Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana.
“I think you can find sweet little moments that we hid in there – of my favourite flower, even my husband’s mum’s favourite flower, forget-me-nots. We wanted to make sure those were included in there.
“There are many, many special details and love that went into this book.”
And Meghan’s first foray into the world of children’s literature has been given a big thumbs up from Archie.
“I knew our son would notice all of those elements, and he 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,'” she said.
“But now the fact he loves The Bench and we can say, ‘Mummy wrote this for you’ feels amazing.”
She also hopes children from all different kinds of backgrounds will feel “represented” in the New York Times Best Seller, which was illustrated by Christian Robinson.
“Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented (in the media),” shared Meghan, whose mother is black and father is white.
“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.”
Meghan’s NPR chat, which was broadcast on Father’s Day on Sunday, is her first press interview since her explosive TV tell-all with Oprah Winfrey back in March, and her first since becoming a mother-of-two.
She and Harry welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana on 4 June.
– Cover Media