Meghan Markle’s new children’s book comes with a touching dedication to Prince Harry and their son Archie – saying the pair make her heart go “pump-pump”.
The book – called The Bench – is set to come out Tuesday, and thousands of fans have already pre-ordered a copy.
It has been advertised as a story of fathers and sons seen through a mother’s eyes – and there are plenty of references to the Sussexes themselves.
A sneak peek shared online shows a dad with ginger hair and a beard walking hand in hand with a little boy.
There are several drawings that appear to show Harry and Archie, along with the family’s two dogs and their chickens.
Meghan’s inscription, reproduced from a hand-written note, reads: “For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump.”
She explained how the idea for the book came about.
She 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.”
She added: “My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
The 34-page picture book, published by Random House Children’s Books, has been illustrated by award-winning artist Christian Robinson, and Meghan narrates the audiobook version herself.
Meghan has said: “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.”
Photographer Gray Malin – a close friend of the Duchess of Sussex – received a copy of the book on Friday.
Meghan wrote in a personalised note: “Dear Gray, from one parent to another – all my love from my family to yours. As ever Meghan.”
Posting a short clip of the book cover and its first two pages on his Instagram stories, Mr Malin wrote: “Received some royal mail. Congrats on your new book, M!”
A press release says the book “touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family”.
Meghan and Harry are expecting their second child, a baby girl, any day now.
Meghan’s author bio says “she currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens.”
The couple alighted on their new California life after quitting the Royal Family in their controversial interview with Oprah in March.
Relations between the royals and the Sussexes were strained further when they accused The Firm of failing to support Meghan when she was suicidal and of making racist comments speculating what colour Archie’s skin would be.
Just days before the book’s launch, The Telegraph reported that a row between the book’s publisher and Waterstones could hamper the release of the £12.99 book in the UK.
The publisher reportedly has limited credit that is extended to Waterstones, meaning the company can only buy a certain number of books.
Waterstones responded by pulling Penguin Random House titles from displays in hundreds of its stores nationwide.
The newspaper claims bosses at the chain gave orders that only a minimal number of Penguin Random House titles should stay visible to customers in stores – and this could affect sales for upcoming titles such as The Bench.
Waterstones said the measures were to safeguard stock and not as a protest against the publishing house.