The new children’s book from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was inspired by a Father’s Day gift to her husband, Prince Harry, the actor-turned-royal told NPR in an interview.
“As most of us do, you go, what am I going to get them as a gift?,” the duchess, better known in the States as Meghan Markle, told NPR’s Weekend Edition. “And I thought I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son.”
So she bought him the gift that would inspire The Bench, published earlier this month by Random House. The book follows several fathers and sons as they bond on a series of benches.
The characters in the book, illustrated by Christian Robinson, represent diverse families, which Meghan said was a conscious choice.
“Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented,” she said. “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.”
She described the book as a “love story.”
“It’s really just about growing with someone and having this deep connection and this trust so that, be it good times or bad, you know that you had this person,” Meghan told NPR. “I really hope that people can see this as a love story that transcends the story of my family.”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.