Meghan Markle's New Book Inspired Her Father's Day Gift to Prince Harry
The Duchess of Sussex joined NPR Weekend Edition on Sunday to talk about The Bench, which was inspired by her poem she wrote to husband Prince Harry for Father's Day 2019, just weeks after the couple welcomed their first child, son Archie.
During the interview, Meghan shared that the poem was only part of how she celebrated the special occasion. That year, she also got him a bench.
"As most of us do, you go, what am I going to get them as a gift?" Meghan, 39, said during the interview, which was recorded shortly before she welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana, whose name pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, on June 4."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," she added.
On the back of the bench is a plaque, on which Meghan's poem appears. "This is your bench," the poem reads, "Where life will begin/ For you and our son/ Our baby, our kin."
Meghan went on to describe The Bench as a "love story."
"I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet," she said. "It was definitely moments like that, watching them from out of the window and watching [my husband] just, you know, rock him to sleep or carry him or, you know ... those lived experiences, from my observation, are the things that I infused in this poem."
"It's really just about growing with someone and having this deep connection and this trust so that, be at good times or bad, you know that you had this person," she added, going on to note that it was also important to her to make sure the book was as inclusive as possible.
"Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented," she said. "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."
Later in the interview she added, "I really hope that people can see this as a love story that transcends the story of my family."
Meghan has explained that the book was inspired by a poem she wrote to Harry after the birth of their son.
This past Wednesday, in response to the news The Bench had reached the No. 1 slot on The New York Times' best-seller list, she shared a new post on her and Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation website, noting that the story "began as a love letter to my husband and son, [and] I'm encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere," she said.
"In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values," she added.
Harry and 2-year-old Archie are shown several times in the book, and Meghan even included their newborn daughter.
The book's final illustration appears to be inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's lives in California, with Harry sitting on the bench feeding chickens with Archie. A woman wearing a sun hat, representing Meghan, stands in a garden with baby Lili in a sling!
This isn't the first book project that Meghan has been involved in to become a best seller. Together: Our Community Cookbook, for which Meghan wrote the foreword to in 2018, also reached the top of the nonfiction charts on Amazon and The Bookseller.
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