Meghan Markle has encouraged readers of her new children’s book, The Bench, to search for sentimental “Easter eggs” hidden in its pages, which include her and Princess Diana’s favourite flowers and her rescue chickens.
The Duchess of Sussex gave her first interview since the birth of her daughter earlier this month to US radio show NPR Weekend Edition on Sunday.
She spoke about how her book, which was published on 8 June and has since become a New York Times Best Seller, was inspired by Prince Harry’s relationship with their son, Archie, and a poem she wrote as part of her gift to her husband on his first Father’s Day.
She gifted Harry a bench with a poem that read: “This is your bench/Where life will begin/For you and our son/Our baby, our kin.”
Meghan said the poem was “infused” with her observations of how Harry and Archie interacted with one another.
“I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realised how much happens in the quiet,” she told NPR.
“It was definitely moments like that, watching them from out the window and watching [my husband] just, you know, rock him to sleep or carry him or, you know… those lived experiences, from my observations, are the things that I infused in this poem.”
The interview also featured artist Christian Robinson, who illustrated The Bench. Robinson said that when he received an email inviting him to work with Meghan, “it was a no brainer”.
The pair spoke about the importance of representing “as many different families as we could” in the picture book, which begins with an illustration of Meghan’s own family before their daughter Lilibet was born.
Meghan said: “Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented. 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.”
Meghan also revealed that there was plenty of “special detail and love that went into this book” in the form of “Easter eggs or nuggets” readers will find if they start “digging”.
“It was such a great idea that Christian had as well, once we had decided on what the benches looked like for each specific vignette, to have them all at the beginning and at the end of the book,” she explained.
“So as a child, you could go ‘let me find each bench’ and it’s its own little project and game, and all those little Easter eggs or nuggets that are tucked within the book.
“There’s a lot, if people start digging, I think you can find sweet little moments that we’ve tucked in there, from my favourite flower, even my husband’s mom’s favourite flowers are forget-me-nots, we wanted to make sure those were included.”
The Duchess also said Archie was a “voracious reader” and was a fan of her book.
“Archie loves the book,” said Meghan. “Which is great because he has a voracious appetite for books and constantly, when you read him a book, he goes ‘again, again, again’. But now the fact that he loves The Bench and we can say ‘Mommy wrote this for you’ feels amazing.”
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