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The special meaning behind The Duchess of Sussex’s debut book

6 May 2021

The Duchess of Sussex has authored her first children's book, titled The Bench. Inspired by a poem, there's already so much more to this book than its soon-to-be-released cover.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

This is your bench

Where you’ll witness great joy.

From here you will rest

See the growth of our boy.

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After Meghan, Duchess of Sussex penned a poem for her husband on Father’s Day, the poem evoked a deep sense of connection and compassion and the idea for a book. 

Titled The Bench, The Duchess of Sussex’s debut book is about the special bond between father and son, as seen through a mother’s eyes.

A touching memento to her husband, Prince Harry, and son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, she uses a bench to symbolise the starting point of a growing relationship between father and son.

Illustrated by Christian Robinson, The Bench aims to visually portray the father-son relationship through an inclusive lens, showing children around the world what a modern family can look like. 

The Bench is also a first for Robinson, who is working with watercolours for the first time. The Duchess describes his illustrations in the book as beautiful and ethereal, capturing “the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life”. 

Alike The Duchess, Robinson himself has a unique childhood story to tell, having grown up in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt and grandmother. Drawing was a way for Robinson to create a space of his own. 

A preview of The Bench serves as a poignant reminder of Prince Harry’s military past, with an illustration of a father in military uniform greeting his son. 

The Bench will be released on 8 June, with The Duchess hoping it will resonate with every family, no matter the makeup.

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