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Get a Glimpse of Meghan Markle's New Children's Book with an Illustration of Harry and Archie Holding Hands

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 04, 2021
08:07 A.M.
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This year, Duchess Meghan Markle will be making her debut as a writer with the release of her children’s book. A friend received the book this week and shared a sneak peek.

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Duchess Meghan’s children's book, “The Bench,” is set for public release next week. However, a sneak peek of the hardcover version of the book has been released by one of the royal’s friends.

Meghan, 39, sent a copy of the book with a personal note to photographer Gray Malin from Los Angeles. He took to his Instagram Story to share images of the book and the note.

Baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Duchess Meghan, and Prince Harry meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019, in Cape Town | Photo: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

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Malin’s post included a short video where he opened the first page of the children’s book. On it, an illustration of Meghan’s husband, Prince Harry, holding their son, Archie’s hand, was visible.

It isn’t clear if the royal received advance payment for her work or whether she would be donating some of the monies to charity. However, a branding expert speculated that the deal landed Meghan more than $700,000.

A snippet of Duchess Meghan’s book which was gifted to her friend Gray Malin in June 2021 | Photo: Instagram Story/graymalinpersonal

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Harry’s wife announced in May 2021 that she would be releasing the book. The note that Meghan wrote along with the gift to Malin appeared on the first page of the book, and it read:

“From one parent to another - all my love from my family to yours. As ever, Meghan.”

A snippet of Duchess Meghan’s book which was gifted to her friend Gray Malin in June 2021 | Photo: Instagram Story/graymalinpersonal

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The pair are believed to have first met each other in 2015. At the time, the photographer was visiting the then-actress at her Toronto home while she was shooting the series “Suits.”

Meghan said her book was inspired by a poem she’d written for her husband for Father’s Day the month after their son was born. It explores the “special bond between father and son as seen through a mother's eyes.”

A snippet of Duchess Meghan’s book which was gifted to her friend Gray Malin in June 2021 | Photo: Instagram Story/graymalinpersonal

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The Duchess said she hoped her book would resonate with all types of families, no matter what make-up they have. The award-winning Christian Robinson illustrated the images in the book.

Emma Kaye Wootton even went as far as urging fans to boycott Duchess Meghan’s work.

Penguin Random House is set to publish the children’s book on June 8, 2021. Meghan will also voice the audio version of the book that was aimed to evoke warmth, compassion, and connection.

A snippet of Duchess Meghan’s book which was gifted to her friend Gray Malin in June 2021 | Photo: Instagram Story/graymalinpersonal

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Meghan’s efforts as a first-time author haven’t been met with applause only, but some people have even accused her of plagiarism. Online critics said the royal ripped off someone else’s book that was already being sold.

People likened the Duchess’s work with Gabriel Alborozo and Corrinne Averiss', titled “The Boy on the Bench.” Critics also said Meghan’s book had a similar title to that of Averiss and Alborozo.

A snippet of Duchess Meghan’s book which was gifted to her friend Gray Malin in June 2021 | Photo: Instagram Story/graymalinpersonal

“The Boy on the Bench” was released in 2018, and it was also illustrated by Robinson, which meant the artwork was similar. Taking to Twitter, people felt the storyline was also too familiar.

Emma Kaye Wootton, an online critic, even accused Meghan of “blatantly" plagiarizing Averiss and Alborozo's work. She even went as far as urging fans to boycott the royal’s work.

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