Is Meghan Markle's new book sending a coded message about Harry's army ambitions? Royal expert Ingrid Seward reveals all
TWO years ago tomorrow, when Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born in utmost secrecy, it became obvious that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted privacy for their little boy.
But here we are now awaiting the publication of a children’s book all about her husband and son.
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‘The Bench’, by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, celebrates 'the warmth, joy and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons'.
Cynically, Meghan’s story book is being launched to coincide with Fathers’ Day by publishers who are already boasting of advanced sales in excess of a million copies.
I am not surprised, because kids’ books by celebrity authors always sell well.
Whether or not the children it is written for like it is practically irrelevant.
Nor am I surprised at Meghan’s hypocrisy in writing a book about the joy of father and son bonding when the relationship between Harry and his own father Prince Charles has been brought to an all-time low by their Oprah interview.
Meghan’s estranged dad, Thomas, lives roughly 70 miles away but she has not taken Harry or Archie to see him.
I suspect Mr Markle believes they never will make that journey or repair the relationship.
Surely someone – perhaps her mother, the only member of her family she still talks to – must have advised Meghan that writing The Bench in these circumstances wasn’t the greatest idea.
I think it is more likely that she simply won’t take advice.
But what I am surprised about is that multi-millionaire Meghan, who presents herself as a philanthropic person, has not said she is giving the profits from her ‘debut’ book to charity.
Unlike Prince Charles, who gave the proceeds of his 1980 children’s book The Old Man of Lochnagar to his Princes’ Trust, Meghan is following in Fergie’s footsteps.
The Duke of York’s ex-wife has penned no fewer than 20 children’s books – but they weren’t for charity, either.
Fergie, writing as plain Sarah Ferguson, produced her first book, Budgie the Helicopter, in 1989 and it became a children’s TV series.
She went on to write more and her most successful story, Tea for Ruby, published in 2008.
She kept the monies from all the books as, unlike Meghan, she needed the cash to pay her debts.
Now, there are already accusations that Meghan’s book seems very similar to The Boy on the Bench, a story by Manchester Corrinne Averiss about the bond between a lad and his dad.
In the illustrations for Meghan’s book, the ginger-haired dad is dressed in Army fatigues – something Archie has never seen before.
Maybe Meghan is sending us a coded message that Harry has still not got over losing his military titles after the Queen stepped in.
Don’t hold your breath that privacy-loving Harry and Meghan will issue an official photograph to mark Archie’s birthday tomorrow.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if they release a photo of him and Harry on Father’s Day – just in time to boost sales of Meghan’s book.
Ingrid Seward is Editor-in-Chief of Majesty Magazine and author of Prince Philip Revealed, A Man of his Century.
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