Meghan Markle's 'The Bench' tops New York Times bestsellers list in children’s picture books category

The book features relationships between father and son such as Prince Harry's with Archie

Meghan Markle's illustrated children's book, "The Bench," has hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list in the children's picture books category.

The listing with Markle atop will appear in the June 27 edition of the Times.

"While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere," said Markle in a statement shared online. "In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values. Equally, to depict another side of masculinity — one grounded in connection, emotion, and softness — is to model a world that so many would like to see for their sons and daughters alike. Thank you for supporting me in this special project."

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, released her first book earlier this month with illustrations by award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson. Markle provides the narration of the audio version.

MEGHAN MARKLE DEDICATES ‘THE BENCH’ TO PRINCE HARRY AND ARCHIE: THEY ‘MAKE MY HEART GO PUMP-PUMP’

Published by Random House Children's Books, "The Bench" examines the bond between father and son, celebrating such a relationship between Markle's son, Archie, and her husband, Prince Harry.

Meghan Markle's children's book ‘The Bench’ has topped the New York Times Best Sellers list in its category.

Meghan Markle's children's book ‘The Bench’ has topped the New York Times Best Sellers list in its category. (Photo by Getty Images       )

The book showcases families of different skin colors and backgrounds, from a light-skinned soldier returning home (Harry served in Afghanistan) to a dark-skinned man in dreadlocks, from a boy carrying a soccer trophy to a boy and his father wearing pink tutus.

Throughout the book, fathers are portrayed in a softer light, acting as buddies, teachers, consolers and cheerleaders rather than strict disciplinarians.

Random House calls the book a portrait of "the special relationship between fathers and sons, through a mother's eyes."

MEGHAN MARKLE AIMS TO ‘NOURISH COMMUNITIES THROUGH READING’ WITH FREE DONATIONS OF HER BOOK ‘THE BENCH’

The title refers to a symbol of stability and comfort, starting with a drawing of Harry holding his baby son on a bench, two dogs nearby.

The book cover referred to Markle as someone dedicated to "activating compassion in communities across the world." It began as a Father's Day poem written a month after Archie's birth in 2019, Markle shared when announcing the project.

Meghan Markle's ‘The Bench’ features the relationship between her son, Archie, and her husband, Prince Harry. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle's ‘The Bench’ features the relationship between her son, Archie, and her husband, Prince Harry. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

"That poem became this story," she said. The royal dedicated the book to "the man and the boy who made my heart go pump-pump."

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Publication of "The Bench" came four days after the birth of the couple's second child, Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, named in part for Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother, Princess Diana

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Markle was pregnant with Lilibet while working on the book and the final illustration shows Harry and Archie, now a toddler, at the family's chicken coop. Markle is in the garden on the opposite page, wearing a sun hat, holding an infant in a sling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report