Meghan Markle’s sweet tribute to Princess Diana in new book The Bench

The Duchess discusses her new book and Father’s Day memories on NPR Weekend Edition

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle just appeared on the NPR Weekend Edition program to discuss her new children's book, how she hopes families respond to the project, and how she made Father's Day meaningful for Prince Harry.

• In her first interview since the birth of Lilibet Diana on June 4 and the Oprah tell-all this March, Meghan Markle spoke to NPR about her picture book, 'The Bench'.
• She revealed how she has paid tribute to Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana.
• In other royal news, see inside Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘secret’ trip to America as brothers are ‘committed to finally making the peace’

It all began with a poem, according to the Duchess of Sussex. The Bench was a personal project Meghan Markle created for Prince Harry following the birth of their son Archie in 2019. Now, however, after expanding to a picture book in June 2021, The Bench is a New York Times bestseller

In an interview for NPR, Meghan Markle opened up about her latest project and revealed that she had paid tribute to Prince Harry's late mother in her book. 

Meghan said, "I think you can find sweet little moments that we hid in there—of my favorite flower, even my husband’s mom’s favorite flower, forget-me-nots."

She continued to say that she hid many sweet aspects in this book. "We wanted to make sure those were included in there. There are many, many special details and love that went into this book."

Meghan said, "I really hope that people can see this as a love story that transcends the story of my family," she revealed. 

Meghan went on to reveal how it all unfolded. "I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet," she said to Sunday's Weekend Edition host, Lulu Garcia Navarro. "It was definitely moments like that, watching [Harry and Archie] from out of the window and watching him just, you know, rock him to sleep or carry him or, you know ... those lived experiences, from my observation, are the things that I infused in this poem."

The poem is also inscribed on a bench that she bought for Prince Harry in 2019 for his first Father's Day. "I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son," she added. 

The illustrations in the book appear to also depict Prince Harry and Archie sitting on the bench as the figure has ginger hair and a beard just like the Duke of Sussex.

A illustration of a father and son are seen inside a copy of Meghan Markle's book "The Bench" on a display in Europe's largest bookstore Waterstones Piccadilly, on June 08, 2021 in London, England

(Image credit: Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

She is hoping families across the country can share a similar heartwarming experience. Meghan will donate 2,000 copies of The Bench to libraries, schools, and organizations throughout the US. She states that her efforts are an attempt to focus on well-being following the difficult year many have faced.

The book features illustrations from Christian Robinson that depict diverse families, an intentional effort to ensure that everyone can take away something from the story.

Meghan revealed that she wanted to make this book inclusive as she remembered struggling with representation as a child. She revealed, "Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented."

"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," Meghan said.

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, where she particularly enjoys covering lifestyle and entertainment news. She was previously the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. When she's not working, you can find her reading a good book and enjoying a cup of coffee. Follow her @dvwrites.