The Bench wasn’t the first book written by Meghan Markle—this is why you never heard of the first

Meghan's love of writing goes as far back as middle school

Meghan Markle's first book has been revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan Markle was an author long before her children's book The Bench hit shelves last month. 

Meghan Markle's hotly-anticipated children's book The Bench might have made it to the New York Times bestseller list, but it turns out that the actor-turned-writer has made a foray into the world of publishing before. 

In fact, Meghan was in her early teens when her first book sweetly titled, A Face Without Freckles… is a Night Without Stars was published. 

Telling a story in both verse and illustrations, the book extols the virtues of freckles; with one passage reading, "Some people think that freckles are strange, while I happen to disagree. Because if I had no freckles, then I would not truly be me!!"

While The Bench was thoughtfully dedicated to Prince Harry and their son Archie, Meghan's first book was dedicated to her parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle. 

"Meghan Markle currently attends Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California and enjoys watching television, spending time with her friends and participating in musical comedies," reads the author section at the back of the book. 

"Meghan wrote this book in the eighth grade as a school project and now wishes to continue writing throughout high school. She wants to take a moment to thank her 'mommy' and 'daddy' who gratefully spent their time and effort supporting her."

Much to her fan's delight, Meghan's little-known first book was shared on Twitter yesterday by Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress. 

"Did you know Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, wrote a book in 8th grade titled, A Face without Freckles... Is a Night Without Stars," Hayden wrote on Twitter. "She extols the wonder of freckles with drawings and verse. Meghan submitted it to the @CopyrightOffice in 1996. From @librarycongress collection."

So it turns out that not only was Meghan a budding author from an early age, she was a copyright-savvy entrepreneur, too. 

Meghan has long been vocal about her love for her freckles, telling Allure magazine in 2017 that one of her "pet peeves" is having them airbrushed out of photos.

"To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot," she told the magazine.

"For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger, 'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"

Kate McCusker

Kate is a freelance contributor to woman&home, covering everything she loves most: fashion, fiction, and fancy face cream. If she’s not working, she’s probably reading, feeding her online shopping addiction, or judging the taste level of celebrity houses (10/10 for Dakota Johnson, 2/10 for Tan France).

She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2020 with a BA in fashion journalism, and her byline has also appeared in British VogueThe Times, and Marie Claire.