Meghan Markle’s book about military dads returning home is ‘hollow’ given estrangement from her dad, Royal expert says

MEGHAN Markle’s new kids book about the bond between a father and son seems “hollow” given her estrangement from her dad, says a royal author.

It has been announced that the Duchess of Sussex, 39, has written a children's book about the bond between a father and son inspired by Prince Harry and Archie.

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But while the book may be about father and children relationships, Meghan has not spoken to her father Thomas, 76, for three years and even embroiled him in a High Court privacy case.

Meanwhile Harry, 36, accused his father Prince Charles of being trapped in the Royal ­Family and told Oprah Winfrey in their interview that his family had cut him off financially.

Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, said to Fabulous: “I’m sure the inspiration Meghan draws on from Harry and Archie’s relationship is genuine.

“But it makes it doubly sad that she is estranged from her own father and that Harry is now separated from his blood family back home.

“At a time when families all over the world have been separated by the pandemic, and long to be reunited, Meghan’s platitudes ring a bit hollow.

“The book is called The Bench.

“But perhaps she should have called it The Bridge and started building them with her own dad and the royal family she and Harry have left behind.”

Phil also pointed out that Meghan seems to be ignoring the relationships between children and their grandparents in her new book.

He explained: “Neither Prince Charles nor Thomas Markle are seeing Archie grow up, take his first steps and utter his first words (doubtless with an American accent) so it’s a bit rich for Meghan to say her book will resonate with all families.”

He added: “Writing a children’s book seems to be the go to project for celebrities – and now royals – looking to either make money or get across some coded, and sometimes not so coded messages.

“It’s not known if Meghan is donating any profits from The Bench to charity, or if the book is another cash cow, but she’s clearly using it to make some points.”

Phil also said Meghan is using new book to show how ‘upset’ Harry was to be stripped of his military titles.

The Duchess of Sussex penned The Bench after originally writing a poem for Harry's first Father's Day from Archie, who will turn two this week.

A picture of the book has been posted online ahead of its publication on June 8.

It shows a watercolour picture by award-winning artist Christian Robinson of a bench under a tree surrounded by birds.

The mum-to-be's pen name is given as: "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex".

She will also narrate an audiobook of the tale, which is published by Random House Children's Books.

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.

"My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the make up, as much as it does with me."

Further photos from inside the book shows a boy being lifted into the air by a red-headed dad in military uniform as a woman weeps from the window.

The words accompanying the picture say: "Looking out at My Love and our beautiful boy.

"And here in the window I'll have tears of joy".

Another image features a dad with his baby boy dozing on a lounger outside.

The writing says: "From here you will rest, see the growth of our boy".

A press release that accompanies the announcement describes it as a story that “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”.

The publisher also says it is about the "special bond between father and son – as seen through a mother's eyes. Inspired by her own husband and son".

A statement describes Meghan as a "mother, wife, feminist, and activist", who "currently resides in her home state of California with her family, two dogs, and a growing flock of rescue chickens".

The book's artist Christian is from California, where Meghan, Harry and Archie live, and has worked with Pixar and Sesame Street.

He recently won a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for artwork he produced for Last Stop on Market Street.

Meghan previously wrote a lifestyle blog, The Tig, before marrying into the royal family.

She also penned a piece for Time magazine but this is the first time she has tried her hand at a book.

The former actress has experienced voiceover work though – narrating Disney documentary Elephant after stepping down as a senior royal.

Her book is the latest project in a long list of work for the couple since they moved to the US.

They signed a £75million Netflix deal and a megabucks deal with Spotify with a docuseries now planned about the Invictus Games.

And Harry recently got a standing ovation as he appeared solo at a Covid concert – with US fans saying "he belongs to us now".

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