Archie Harrison may be one of the stars of mom Meghan Markle‘s new children’s book, but he’s just as happy to add it to his growing library of stories to enjoy with his parents.
In an NPR interview released on Sunday, her husband Prince Harry‘s first Father’s Day as a dad of two, the 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex spoke about the couple’s 2-year-old son’s reaction to The Bench, an illustrated picture book that depicts the special relationship between father and son, as seen through a mother’s eyes. It was inspired by a 2019 poem Meghan wrote to Harry for Father’s Day 2019, a month after their son was born.
“Archie loves the book,” Meghan told NPR, “which is great because he has a voracious appetitive for books and constantly, when we read him a book, he goes, ‘Again, again, again!’ But now, the fact that he loves The Bench and we can say, ‘Mommy wrote this for you’ feels amazing.”
The Bench is illustrated by Christian Robinson and made up of series of vignettes showing different fathers and their sons sharing a bench while doing simple activities together like drinking apple juice or looking at the stars. The book also contains illustrations of Archie and Harry themselves as well as other father-son duos. One dad and his boy pose together in matching pink tutus.
On another page, an excited child greets his father returning from military deployment. The man lifts his son in the air while the boy’s mom watches, crying tears of joy, from inside the house.
There is also an apparent nod to Meghan and Harry’s daughter Lilibeth “Lili” Diana, who was born two days before the book was published. One illustration appears to show Meghan in a garden, carrying a baby in a sling over her shoulder.
The Bench also contains a number of other Easter eggs and personal tributes, including one for Harry’s late mother Princess Diana.
“If people start digging, I think you can find sweet little moments that we’ve tucked in there, from my favorite flower— even my husband’s mom’s favorite flower, forget-me-nots, we wanted to make sure those were included in there.” Meghan told NPR. “There’s a lot of special detail and love that went into this book.”
Meghan’s audio interview with NPR marked the first time she has spoken with the press since her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March. The Duke of Sussex also joined his wife for part of the session and also granted the media mogul a solo interview for their Apple TV+ mental health series, The Me You Can’t See, which was released in May. Harry and Meghan have largely kept away from the public eye since leaving the monarchy and their previous home in the United Kingdom last year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and have self-isolated at their California home with Archie and their pets.
“I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet,” Meghan told NPR, talking about her book. “It was definitely moments like that, watching them from out of the window and watching [my husband] 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 [that is in the book].”