'Schmaltzy' Meghan Markle 'on dodgy ground' with kids' book celebrating fathers 'after own bust-up with dad' says author

THE Duchess of Sussex has written a schmaltzy children’s book about sons’ relationships with their fathers.

Meghan says The Bench was inspired by her hubby Prince Harry’s bond with their son Archie, who is two tomorrow.

She said the 40-page book, illustrated by Pixar artist Christian Robinson, grew out of a poem she wrote for Harry a month after the birth of their son.

Meghan, 39, who will also voice the audio book when it is released next month, said: “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 mine.”

The illustrations include a representation of Harry as a soldier lifting up his son while the tearful mum looks on through a window.

Publisher Penguin Random House said the £12.99 book “touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons”.

It said it “gives readers a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons”.

But it comes at a time when Meghan and Harry’s relationships with their own fathers could not be more strained.

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.

Royal biographer Penny Junor said: “It’s very easy to talk about relationships between fathers and sons when they are two years old.

“But problems come when the children are older — as Meghan found out with her father and Harry with Prince Charles.

“So it is an odd thing to have done.

“She is on dodgy ground because of her relationship with her father and Harry with his.

“But it is also a very schmaltzy book by the sounds of it.”

And Angela Levin, Prince Harry’s biographer, said: “Once again we have the hypocrisy of Meghan and Harry saying one thing but not doing it themselves.

“I don’t know how you can write about a boy, a son or a father, when you haven’t spoken to your own father for years.

“It is extraordinary.”

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