Why Meghan Markle’s new book could be dealt a blow for this significant reason

Meghan Markle's book was inspired by Archie and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex visits a township with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to learn about Youth Employment Services on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle’s new children’s book could reportedly be dealt a sad blow due to an alleged “dispute” between one of Britain's biggest high-street booksellers and her publisher. 

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex delighted royal fans earlier this year when she made a huge announcement about a new creative project. It was announced that she would be releasing her first ever children’s book, The Bench, which is set for release on June 8. Meghan is understood to have been inspired by watching Prince Harry and his relationship with their now three-year-old son Archie. With Prince Harry and Meghan expecting baby number two, her foray into the publishing world is certainly coming at a very exciting time for their family. 

Though since the announcement was made, some have suggested Meghan’s children’s book sends a ‘coded message’ to the Queen regarding Prince Harry’s military losses. The couple ‘stepped back’ as senior members of the Royal Family last year and have now confirmed they are never coming back as working royals. 

Instead, they have settled in LA and are pursuing their own ventures such as Prince Harry’s new Apple TV+ docuseries, The Me You Can’t See and, of course, Meghan’s new book. However, despite all her hard work in bringing her new creation to life, it's been suggested sales could potentially be hampered for one significant reason. 

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According to The Telegraph, Meghan Markle’s publishers, Penguin Random House, and one of Britain's biggest high-street booksellers, Waterstones, are in "dispute". The publication claims that Penguin Random House has “restricted how much credit it extends to Waterstones”. The report went on to allege that Waterstones has pulled some PRH titles from "prominent displays" across its almost 300 stores nationwide. 

The Telegraph also reports that a spokesperson for Waterstones declared: “We are not boycotting PRH titles but we are doing our utmost to ensure that availability for customers remains good despite the lower overall levels of stock. We do this generally by giving their titles less prominent positioning within our bookshops.

“Waterstones are currently operating with reduced credit terms from PRH”, they continued. 

It’s been suggested that this could potentially have an "adverse effect" on sales of upcoming books such as Meghan’s The Bench if readers end up being unable to pick up as many copies as they may have hoped in Waterstones stores. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa

(Image credit: Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

However, Penguin Random House has not officially spoken out on these claims or confirmed any alleged “dispute”. 

Meghan Markle will likely be looking forward to seeing The Bench officially released and the adorable children’s book is thought to feature a diverse range of characters as well as stunning watercolor pictures by illustrator Christian Robinson. It’s said to focus on the special bond between a father and son, as seen through the eyes of a mother.

With Archie as inspiration, it’s wonderful to think that her new book is something Meghan might share with both of her children once her and Prince Harry welcome their new baby. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.

Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 

After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!