Meghan Markle dedicates ‘The Bench’ to Prince Harry and Archie: They ‘make my heart go pump-pump’

Just days after welcoming her second child, the Duchess of Sussex’s first children’s book was released on Tuesday.

“The Bench” was illustrated by award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson with Markle narrating the audiobook edition. The book features a diverse group of fathers and sons and moments they share, according to a statement previously released by Random House Children’s Books.

The book grew out of a poem the 39-year-old wrote for her husband Prince Harry commemorating his first Father’s Day. The duke and duchess welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.

“The Bench” was dedicated to Harry, 36, and Archie, 2, People magazine reported.

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Random House Children’s Book announced that Meghan Markle was releasing her first children’s book titled ‘The Bench,’ which is inspired by the relationship between her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie.

Random House Children’s Book announced that Meghan Markle was releasing her first children’s book titled ‘The Bench,’ which is inspired by the relationship between her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie. (AP/Getty)

“For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump,” read the dedication in the former American actress’s penmanship inspired by her previous work as a calligrapher, the outlet reported.

According to the outlet, “The Bench” also includes a nod to their daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on Friday. The final illustration, seemingly inspired by the couple’s new life in California, shows Harry sitting on a bench feeding the chickens with Archie. A woman, wearing a sun hat, stands in a garden with a baby in a sling. The drawing also features the family’s two dogs.

The couple previously showed their chickens, which live in a coop known as “Archie’s Chick Inn” during their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

“Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is a mother, wife, feminist, and activist,” read the book’s biography, as quoted by the outlet. “Through the nonprofit work of the Archewell Foundation, she and her husband are committed to activating compassion in communities across the world. She currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens.”

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY’S DAUGHTER LILIBET DIANA FEATURED IN DUCHESS’ CHILDREN’S BOOK ‘THE BENCH’

Meghan Markle, an American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Britain's Prince Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle.

Meghan Markle, an American actress, became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Britain’s Prince Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. (Photo by Getty       )

On Tuesday, Robinson told TODAY that he and the former “Suits” star collaborated via Zoom during the pandemic.

“There’s a gentleness to this story, and I think it complements the gentle nature of watercolor,” he said.

“[Working with Meghan] was just like a ray of light in my life, and I’m just again really glad I got to be part of it,” he added.

In a statement released in May, the now mother of two described how her poem transformed into a book.

“That poem became this story,” she said at the time. “Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019. (Getty   )

The book is one of several projects that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced since stepping away from royal duties in early 2020. Markle narrated the Disney nature film “Elephant” and the couple has a Netflix deal. Their first project for the streaming service focuses on the Invictus Games, a competition for sick and injured military personnel and veterans that was championed by Harry.

Publication of “The Bench” comes four days after the couple welcomed their daughter. The newborn was named in part for Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother Princess Diana. Markle was pregnant with Lili while working on the book.

The British press so far has offered a mixed verdict on Markle’s book. The Telegraph labeled it “The Duchess of Sussex’s semi-literate vanity project” while the Evening Standard called her writing “soothing, loving, although a little schmaltzy in places.”

“The biggest statement to the family the Sussexes have left behind comes from the line ‘You’ll tell him ‘I love you’…” reviewer Emily Phillips wrote in the Evening Standard. “While Harry’s father Prince Charles famously once said, ‘whatever in love means’ about his new bride Diana, we’re being told that Harry will be telling their children he loves them a million times a day just like the rest of us.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a daughter on Friday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a daughter on Friday. (Reuters)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began last year over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the duchess. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.