It looks like somebody got his hands on the first copy of The Bench! Recently, Meghan Markle’s close friend Gray Malin, a Los Angeles-based fine-art photographer and author, took to Instagram to offer a glimpse inside the Duchess of Sussex’s first children’s book.
On June 3, 2021, Malin shared a short clip on his Instagram story with a sweet caption saying that he had received “a royal mail.” In the video, the father of two showed the cover page of The Bench, which had a small note clipped on it. He also offered a peek inside the special message that Markle had written for him.
The card attached on the cover page declared that the book had come from Harry and Meghan’s office and that it was on behalf of the Duchess of Sussex. It notified Malin that Marke had sent the advanced copy of her book, and she hopes he enjoys it. Needless to say, the author looked quite happy with his gift and congratulated Markle with all his heart.
Markle’s handwritten message
The personal message inside the book was handwritten by Markle in her elegant penmanship, which she learned while working as a calligrapher. It started by addressing Malin as “Dear Gray.” Markle further wrote that the book was a gift sent by one parent to another.
She added that she sends love from her family to Malin’s family, and underneath the message was a never-before-seen illustration that showed Prince Harry holding the hand of his two-year-old son Archie.
A previously exposed picture from inside the book showed a father in a military uniform meeting his son affectionately after a long time as the mother admired their bond from inside the house window. Some believe the photograph indicates Prince Harry’s time in the British Army.
The inspiration behind The Bench
During a press release in May 2021, Markle had revealed that the present she gave Harry on Father’s Day inspired her to write the book. She continued that she had written The Bench as a poem for Harry months after Archie’s birth but later decided to use it as the base for her story.
The Duchess further informed everyone that Christian Robinson, a Caldecott-winning artist, had illustrated the book. Robinson had used watercolor to describe the beautiful bond between a father and a son.
They chose watercolor specifically so that the illustrations would imitate the warmth, joy, and comfort present in real life.
She continued that the correct representation of the bond between fathers and sons was crucial for her and Robinson, and they worked efficiently to bring it out. The 39-year-old hoped that her book resonated with other families like it did with hers.