It was announced today that Meghan Markle’s first children’s book, The Bench, will be released on June 8th by Penguin Random House. The book is written from a mother’s perspective about the relationship between a father and son, inspired obviously by Prince Harry and Archie’s bond.
Duchess Meghan has written her first childrenâ€™s book, The Bench, about the special bond between father and sonâ€”as seen through a motherâ€™s eyes. Itâ€™s out June 8 and is inspired by Prince Harry and Archieâ€™s close relationship. The book is illustrated by Christian Robinson. pic.twitter.com/E2633kGCAA— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 4, 2021
As you can see, one of the illustrations is quite clearly meant to be Harry, in military attire, and Archie. The book though is dedicated to families from different backgrounds as Meghan shared in a statement released by the publisher:
“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 watercolor 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.”
Christian Robinson is an award-winning illustrator – here’s more information about his experience:
Great choice of artist. California-based Christian Robinson has worked with the Sesame Street Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios. More recently he (@theartoffunnews) received a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. pic.twitter.com/bNkY3oY6oV— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 4, 2021
So it’s a smart partnership and a really smart project that answers the immediate question of what Meghan’s been up to and what she’s been planning next. There were a lot of predictions being thrown around – and most involved some sort of on-camera speculation, especially from the British tabloids. Nobody was really talking about her writing a children’s book so big-ups to Penguin Random House for locking this down and keeping it tight, and the small team of people involved who were able to prevent leaks. Which is why, again, any reporting originating out of the UK publications about the Sussexes should be regarded with suspicion. If they had any good sources connected to Harry and Meghan, they would have scooped this story because it’s a big one.
Meghan is giving birth twice this summer – there’s a baby girl on the way and a book baby on the way. Speaking of … Archie turns two in two days this Thursday. Since The Bench is in honour of him and Harry, I wonder if they release a birthday message, and what that might look like.
That brings up a bigger question about book promotion and social media. These days, almost every marketing push for a book involves social media. Dedicated social media accounts are often created for books. Meghan and Harry, however, as we know, currently have no official public social media accounts. Is that coming? Or will they continue to abstain? Also, what will a book tour look like for Meghan? Zoom interviews with the morning shows? Will she show up on late night? Will there be another opportunity with Oprah? Sesame Street? Will she even be able to do much press considering that, while her exact due date hasn’t been confirmed, they did say it’ll be some time in the summer?
Given that the book’s release is June 8, does that give us an indication that maybe the baby will be arriving LATER in the summer which gives her time to promote the book next month? I haven’t had kids but it seems unlikely that she’d be doing much press after the baby arrives considering she’ll be managing a two-year-old and a newborn and the feeding and the sleep deprivation etc, etc.
As for the business of the book, this is of course a hot title – and they’re timing it for Father’s Day sales. So in addition to their Netflix and Spotify deals, and Harry’s new job, the Sussexes are getting that book money. There have so far been no details about the size of the advance but given Meghan’s profile, it can’t have been small. And then there’s the potential for other books and adaptations of the book or books too. All of their partnerships could somehow relate to one another. If they already have an established relationship with Netflix, and Netflix has been investing big in children’s programming, that’s an easy bridge to build for content creation. As Beyoncé said…
“Best revenge is your paper.”