Meghan Markle’s illustrated children’s book, “The Bench,” has hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list in the children’s picture books category.
The listing with Markle atop will appear in the June 27 edition of the Times.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, released her first book earlier this month with illustrations by award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson. Markle provides the narration of the audio version.
Published by Random House Children’s Books, “The Bench” examines the bond between father and son, celebrating such a relationship between Markle’s son, Archie, and her husband, Prince Harry.
MEGHAN MARKLE DID ICATES ‘THE BENCH’ TO PRINCE HARRY AND ARCHIE: THEY ‘MAKE MY HEART GO PUMP-PUMP’
The book showcases families of different skin colors and backgrounds, from a light-skinned soldier returning home (Harry served in Afghanistan) to a dark-skinned man in dreadlocks, from a boy carrying a soccer trophy to a boy and his father wearing pink tutus.
Throughout the book, fathers are portrayed in a softer light, acting as buddies, teachers, consolers and cheerleaders rather than strict disciplinarians.
Random House calls the book a portrait of “the special relationship between fathers and sons, through a mother’s eyes.”
The title refers to a symbol of stability and comfort, starting with a drawing of Harry holding his baby son on a bench, two dogs nearby.
MEGHAN MARKLE AIMS TO ‘NOURISH COMMUNITIES THROUGH READING’ WITH FREE DONATIONS OF HER BOOK ‘THE BENCH’
The book cover referred to Markle as someone dedicated to “activating compassion in communities across the world.” It began as a Father’s Day poem written a month after Archie’s birth in 2019, Markle shared when announcing the project.
“That poem became this story,” she said. The royal dedicated the book to “the man and the boy who made my heart go pump-pump.”
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Publication of “The Bench” came four days after the birth of the couple’s second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, named in part for Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother, Princess Diana.
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Markle was pregnant with Lilibet while working on the book and the final illustration shows Harry and Archie, now a toddler, at the family’s chicken coop. Markle is in the garden on the opposite page, wearing a sun hat, holding an infant in a sling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report