Since Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex left the royal family last year, their lives have been kept relatively private. However, Meghan spoke with NPR this past Father’s Day to reveal that she gave Harry one of the most sentimental gifts: a series of vignettes titled, The Bench.
The poems tell the stories of various father-son relationships from the point of view of the mother. Meghan notes that the inspiration for the book comes from her own experience watching Harry develop a bond with their son, Archie. The title of the book alludes to Harry’s first Father’s Day gift: a bench that was gifted to him with a plaque that reads, “This is your bench/Where life will begin/For you and our son/Our baby, our kin.” And seeing as baby Lilibet Diana made her appearance at the beginning of June, this book is even more touching as Meghan and Harry begin to establish their family out of the spotlight.
To illustrate the book, Meghan enlisted black illustrator, Christian Robinson. Although Robinson had previously worked with acrylics and paper cut-outs, Meghan specifically requested he uses watercolor to depict the “softness” that masculinity and fatherhood are not often associated with. Robinson was up for the challenge, and as you can see from the illustrations, he does a beautiful job.
In a final remark, Meghan states, ” I really hope that people can see this as a love story that transcends the story of my family.” The instability of this past year has, I’m sure, made many people hold their family a little closer and a lot tighter. And we at Bookstr think that Meghan and Christian have depicted the love of a family beautifully.
FEATURED IMAGES VIA BRITANNICA AND CHRISTIAN ROBINSON/RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS