It’s safe to say Father’s Day will look a little different for the Sussexes this year, for better and for worse. While Prince Harry appears to unfortunately still be on the outs with his father, Prince Charles, following the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah, he will soon be becoming a father yet again, as Meghan is expecting their second child, a baby girl, this summer. On Tuesday, Meghan announced another new arrival this June: her first children’s book, titled The Bench.
People had the scoop on the upcoming offering, which will be published on June 8 and reportedly “explores the bond between fathers and sons as seen through a mother’s eyes”—“a mother, wife, feminist, and activist,” as Meghan is described in the press release. The narrative was apparently inspired by a poem penned by the duchess soon after the birth of son Archie, who turns two this Thursday.
“The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born,” Meghan via a press release sent to People. “That poem became this story.”
The story, is in turn illustrated by artist Christian Robinson, who has a Newbery Medal, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor to his credit, and most recently illustrated the children’s book Nina: A Story of Nina Simone.
Robinson shared some of The Bench’s images on Instagram, one of which tellingly features a ginger-haired soldier returning from duty tossing his young son in the air (Harry formerly served in Afghanistan as a captain in the British Army), while another shows a Black father cuddling his son.
“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,” Meghan said in a statement, adding, “this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens.
“My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine,” she concluded.
But in case you think Harry is just waiting around for a royal reconciliation, the Duke of Sussex is also plenty busy earning his own coins. On Tuesday, it was also confirmed that his Apple TV+ mental health series with Oprah will premiere later in May, in tandem with Mental Health Awareness Month, according to Marie Claire.
“Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive—sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better,” Harry said in a statement about the series. “I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”