Meghan Markle has dedicated her new children’s book to Prince Harry and son Archie, saying they make her heart go ‘pump-pump.’
The touching inscription in the book, reproduced from a hand-written note in the Duchess of Sussex’s distinctive calligraphy script, reads: ‘For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump.’
The £12.99 book The Bench is published on Tuesday but copies are already on sale.
Meghan, 39, has said the 34-page illustrated story was inspired by a poem she wrote for her husband on Father’s Day the month after Archie was born and features ‘a diverse group of fathers and sons’.
Meghan Markle (right) has dedicated her new children’s book to Prince Harry and their son Archie
There are several drawings of Harry and Archie, along with their two dogs and rescue chickens.
Bestselling Californian artist Christian Robinson, who was brought up by his grandmother in a one-bedroom flat, drew the images which include a red-headed soldier holding his son aloft as a woman watches crying from a window, likely a reference to 36-year-old Prince Harry’s military service.
Underneath it says: ‘And here in the window I’ll have tears of great joy; Looking out at My Love and our beautiful boy.’
Heavily pregnant Meghan, who is due to give birth any day to the couple’s second child, a daughter, will narrate the accompanying audio book.
Reports claim she could have received as much as £500,000 as an advance for the book but stands to earn millions more if, as expected, it becomes a bestseller.
Meghan said: ‘The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story.
‘Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolour illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life. ‘This representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens.
An illustration from her book which may be a nod to Harry’s days in the Armed Services
‘My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the make-up, as much as it does with mine.’
The book’s cover describes the Duchess as ‘wife, mother, feminist and activist,’ adding that through the work of their charity, the Archewell Foundation, ‘she and her husband are committed to activating compassion in communities across the world’.
It concludes: ‘She currently resides in California with her family, two dogs and a growing flock of rescue chickens.’
Photographer Gray Malin, a friend of the Duchess, posted images of the book to his 35,400 Instagram followers on Friday after receiving an advance copy with a hand- written note: ‘From one parent to another – all my love from my family to yours. As ever, Meghan.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie during a visit to Cape Town
He revealed a previously unseen illustration of Prince Harry and baby Archie walking hand-in-hand together. The Mail on Sunday bought a copy from a bookshop in Los Angeles.
Speculation has been rife on social media that the Duchess may have already given birth to her second child. One fan wrote: ‘With the new book and Father’s Day coming up [June 20], wouldn’t it be neat if she’s already had the baby and is waiting to announce it when the book comes out?’
Oprah who? Joker Edward makes fun of that interview
By Jonathan Bucks
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie have jokingly dismissed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey by asking: ‘Oprah who? What interview?’
But in their first major interview since they married in 1999, the couple insisted that despite recent controversies involving Prince Harry and Meghan, the Windsors remained a family ‘no matter what happens’.
They also reflected on the death of Prince Philip, with Edward describing how coronavirus restrictions had created an ‘extremely odd’ funeral and a poignant moment ‘when everything stopped’.
‘Oprah who?’: The Wessexes joked about Harry and Meghan’s controversial Oprah interview (above)
Sophie told The Daily Telegraph that the family were still reeling from the Duke’s death and the couple’s children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, ‘still keep expecting to see Grandpa arrive in his green Land Rover’.
Edward said the Queen had kept busy since Philip’s death, adding: ‘The job is not something you can walk away from, it just carries on relentlessly.’
Asked if they had watched the Oprah Winfrey interview in March, they chuckled, with Sophie jokingly saying: ‘What interview?’ Edward added mischievously: ‘Oprah who?’
Sophie, 56, also revealed that she enjoyed a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after Philip’s funeral in April. ‘We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be,’ she said.
The couple also reflected on their more prominent role within the monarchy, since the Sussexes and Prince Andrew, Duke of York stepped back from royal duties
The couple said they were ‘flattered’ to be given a more prominent role in a slimmed-down monarchy since Harry and Meghan’s move to California.
Recalling the Duke’s funeral, Edward, 57, said: ‘It was extraordinarily odd walking into St George’s Chapel and finding the nave completely empty. It became really poignant to be there because it was suddenly so very intimate.’
Sophie said she had been affected by the image of the Queen grieving in isolation as she sat alone in the chapel due to Covid-19 restrictions.
‘To see Her Majesty on her own… it was very poignant.’
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are DEMOTED on Royal Family website below Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew
- Duke and Duchess of Sussex listed below Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex
- Meghan and Markle previously just below the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
- Moved down a number of places beneath the Princess Royal and Duke of York
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been demoted on the official Royal Family website since they left their senior roles and moved to the US.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now listed below Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, as well as the Princess Royal and the Duke of York on the official site.
The Prince of Wales’ growing role as an active heir preparing to ascend to the throne is reflected in his own promotion to the top of the ‘Royal Family’ section on www.royal.uk.
The Queen has been removed and is instead featured higher on the page.
Despite the reshuffle, the website still claims the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be ‘balancing their time’ between the UK and the US.
It comes as Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex took part in their first major interview since their marriage in 1999.
The couple shared a laugh over Harry and Meghan’s controversial Oprah interview as they insisted the royals remain a family ‘no matter what happens’.
It was recently revealed Sophie is one of four loyal, discreet and ‘utterly trustworthy’ women of the Queen’s inner circle who are offering crucial support as she faces life without her beloved Prince Philip, who died on April 9, aged 99.
How the website looks now, left, and how it used to look on April 22, right. Of the website change, Buckingham Palace told MailOnline it had no comment ‘other than that we refresh the website regularly’
Of the website change, Buckingham Palace told MailOnline it had no comment ‘other than that we refresh the website regularly’.
Elsewhere, the Princess Royal was moved up five places to sit below the Duchess of Cambridge on the website page. And the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were added to the bottom, just beneath the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Under the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the website reads: ‘They are continuing to honour their duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.
‘Frogmore Cottage in the UK remains their family home.
‘The Duchess will continue to support a number of charitable causes and organisations which reflect the issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare.’
Royal fans were confused when the official website went down briefly, and quickly spotted the changes once it was set live again.
One tweeted: ‘@KensingtonRoyal @RoyalFamily still have #meghanmarkle #princeharry in the royal website? Why?
‘They are not working royals and they aren’t ‘dividing their time between the UK and North America’ why are they being promoted on the website?’
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was the first time Prince Harry returned to the UK since he and his wife Meghan stepped down from their senior royal positions.
It comes as another blow following revelations the Earl and Countess of Wessex will join Prince Charles in a slimmed down monarchy.
Yesterday, speaking in their first major interview together since they married in 1999, the Earl and Countess of Wessex jokingly asked ‘Oprah who?’ and ‘what interview?’ when quizzed on whether they watched Harry and Meghan’s bombshell sit down with the US chat show host
Harry and Meghan previously complained they felt ‘pushed out’ by the Firm following their decision to step down from their senior rank.
Yesterday, speaking in their first major interview together since they married in 1999, the Earl and Countess of Wessex jokingly asked ‘Oprah who?’ and ‘what interview?’ when quizzed on whether they watched Harry and Meghan’s bombshell sit down with the US chat show host.
They also reflected on Prince Philip a little over a month since his funeral – with Prince Edward describing how coronavirus restrictions created an ‘extremely odd’ ceremony, and the particularly poignant moment ‘when everything stopped’.
In the Wessexes’ first public comments since that momentous day, Sophie explained: ‘We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be.’
The Countess of Wessex also admitted to having a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April.
A royal source previously commented on the Countess of Wessex’ close relationship with the Queen. ‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ they said. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others’
Sophie and her husband the Earl of Wessex, who married at Windsor Castle 22 years ago, said they were ‘flattered’ to be taking on a more prominent role in a slimmed-down monarchy since Harry and Meghan’s move to California.
In an interview with The Telegraph Magazine, Sophie said she had a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April.
Speaking on the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April, Prince Edward, 57, said: ‘It was extraordinarily odd walking into St George’s Chapel and finding the nave completely empty.
‘It’s always difficult with these kinds of things because you’re in the middle of it, so you’ve got no idea what it necessarily looks like from the outside.
Prince Andrew sported a striped rugby shirt with royal insignia today as he went for an early morning horse ride in Windsor with a female groom
Donning dark sunglasses, a helmet, and riding slacks the Prince of York, 61, who lives at the nearby royal lodge, looked at ease as he enjoyed the June sunshine
‘It became really poignant to be there because it was suddenly so very intimate.’
A royal source previously commented on the Countess of Wessex’ close relationship with the Queen.
‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ they said. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others.’
The pair are said to speak at least once a day and enjoy regular Saturday ‘movie afternoons’ when they watch old films together.
Prince Andrew was snapped sported a striped rugby shirt with royal insignia this morning as he went for an early morning horse ride in Windsor with a female groom.
The Duke of York, 61, appeared in high spirits for the day out as he waved from atop the horse.
The Queen’s second son, pictured today, recently became a grandfather for the first time when Princess Eugenie welcomed son August Brooksbank in February.
The reports come as royal experts predicted the Duke of York was ‘trying to rehabilitate himself’ and get back into the royal fold – despite his brother Prince Charles pushing plans for a slimmed-down monarchy.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that Andrew would ‘obviously like to be rehabilitated’, but must first answer FBI questions on his links to Jeffrey Epstein.