Meghan Markle is once again facing backlash for her business ventures. Markle announced on Tuesday that she is publishing a children's book entitled The Bench with a June 8 release date, citing Prince Harry as inspiration. "The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father's Day, the month after Archie was born," Meghan said in the press release from publisher Random House Children's Books. "That poem became this story."
Markle partnered with celebrated artist Christian Robinson for the illustrations, praising his work in bringing her vision to life. "Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor 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," Markle said in the statement. "My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine."
However, as with most endeavors that Markle undertakes, she was faced with heavy criticism, and even accusations of plagiarism. "How the hell can Meghan 'I hate royalty but call me Duchess' Markle preach about father-child relationships when she's disowned her own Dad, and wrecked her husband's relationship with his?" wrote Piers Morgan, her most vocal detractor. Online critic Emma Kaye Wootton claimed that Markle "blatantly plagiarized" the book The Boy on the Bench by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo and even called for The Bench to be "boycotted."
"I'll wager a bet that Corrinne's book is in Archie's collection," Wootton posited. "That's where her idea came from. I don't believe that this is all her own thinking or reflects her idyllic life whatsoever." However, the author of The Boy on the Bench, Corrinne Averiss came to Markle's defense on Twitter, explaining that she didn't see any great similarities between their respective works "Reading the description and published excerpt of the Duchess's new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench," she tweeted. "I don't see any similarities."