While Meghan Markle's book The Bench was just released to coincide with Father's Day, it turns out that the real-life bench, which acted as the inspiration for the story, was a previous gift to Prince Harry.
In a special interview with NPR (which is her first public interview since that internet-breaking Oprah special), Markle revealed that she gave the bench to the Duke of Sussex for Father's Day in 2019, on the year that their son, Archie, was born.
“As most of us do, you go: 'What am I going to get them as a gift?'” Markle said. “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.”
So, the Duchess of Sussex chose the bench as this marker, and she made the gift even better by attaching an original poem of hers to the back of it. Now, that verse has transformed into Markle's #1 New York Times bestselling book.
She told NPR how the story came to life, saying, “I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet. In the story, I'm observing this love between my husband and our son and imagining what it will be as they have more shared moments as our son gets older. So from scraping a knee to having a heart broken, whatever it is, that they always reset at this bench and have this moment to bond.”
The duchess's original intention with the bench comes through in the story, which shows connections across many different fathers and their children over time. Meanwhile, the book is infused with references to the duke and duchess's own family. Markle explained that the illustrations include images of forget-me-nots because they were Princess Diana's favorite flower. (We even noticed a tiny reference to the family's newest addition, baby Lilibet.)
Markle closed by saying, “It's really just about growing with someone and having this deep connection and this trust so that, be it good times or bad, you know that you had this person. I really hope that people can see this as a love story that transcends the story of my family.”
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