Meghan releases children’s book The Bench with nods to Harry, Archie and Lili

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The Duchess of Sussex has released a children’s book inspired by the relationship between her husband and son.

Meghan’s debut publication, called The Bench, also includes a sweet nod to daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana, who was born on Friday.

The book is dedicated to “the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump”, a touching reference to the Duke of Sussex and their two-year-old son Archie.

The scene appears to be heavily influenced by Harry, 36, and 39-year-old Meghan’s life in Montecito, Southern California.

As well as the chickens – which appeared during the broadcast of the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March – two dogs also feature in the illustration.

Duchess of Sussex writes children’s book The Bench
The Duchess of Sussex has released her children’s book The Bench (Penguin Random House UK/PA)

The Bench is on sale now and features work by award-winning artist Christian Robinson, with the duchess narrating the audiobook.

The first illustration features a bearded ginger father – who bears a resemblance to the duke – cradling a smiling baby on a bench under a tree.

The text reads: “This is your bench, where life will begin, for you and our son, our baby, our kin.”

Duchess of Sussex writes children’s book The Bench
The Bench features a diverse cast of characters (Penguin Random House/PA)

The text reads: “From here you will rest, see the growth of our boy.”

In another illustration, a father and son duo each wear pink tutus while performing ballet poses.

The accompanying words read: “You’ll love him. You’ll listen. You’ll be his supporter.”

Alongside a picture of a father and son playing with toy dinosaurs, Meghan wrote: “When life feels in shambles, you’ll help him find order.”

To accompany an illustration of a father and son sharing lunch on a park bench, Meghan wrote: “You’ll sit on his bench, as his giving tree.”

Another page is illustrated with the words: “He’ll feel happiness, sorrow, one day be heartbroken. You’ll tell him ‘I love you,’ those words always spoken.”

A father using a wheelchair also features in The Bench.

He is drawn fixing his son’s shoes alongside the text: “This is your bench, for papa and son.”

It continues on the next page alongside a father and son wearing turbans: “To celebrate joys and victories won.”

One illustration from the book is accompanied by the words: “Looking out at my love and our beautiful boy. And here in the window I’ll have tears of great joy…”

The picture shows a weeping woman watching through a ground floor window as a soldier, in army combat uniform, throws his son in the air, apparently having returned home.

Over the final pages, the passage reads: “Right there on your bench, the place you’ll call home… With daddy and son… Where you’ll never be ‘lone.”

The last five words of the book accompany the drawing apparently showing the couple’s idyllic lifestyle in California, where they moved to after stepping down as working royals for financial and personal freedom.

The book is the second publication the duchess has been involved with after being the driving force behind Together – a cookbook featuring recipes from Grenfell Tower women.

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