After her first children's book was slated by critics, Meghan Markle has revealed her plan to distribute 2,000 copies of The Bench to libraries and schools across the U.S.
Meghan announced her plans this week to distribute 2,000 copies of her book to libraries and schools across the U.S at "no-cost".
This comes after questions were posed surrounding whether profits from the book will go to charity.
The book was the debut by the Duchess of Sussex, thirty-nine, and was released earlier this week, inspired by a poem she wrote for Prince Harry's first Father's Day. She wrote the poem a month after their first son, Archie, was born and it explores the "special bond between father and son" as "seen through a mother's eyes."
However, it does not appear that this will be extended to the U.K.
In a statement posted to Archewell, the couple said they had "received the support of the publisher of The Bench to distribute 2,000 copies at no cost to libraries, community centers, schools, and nonprofit programs across the country," to "help nourish the community through learning and connection."
As of yet, it is unknown if Meghan has received an advance on the book and whether any proceeds will be donated to charity.
Nonetheless, a branding expert recently suggested it would have already netted her £500,000 following a "bidding war to secure her first venture."
Harry and Meghan, through an online statement, said the organizations receiving free copies included the Assistance League of Los Angeles, where they visited last summer. There they planted forget-me-nots with the organization's Preschool Learning Centre in honor of Princess Diana's twenty-third death anniversary.
The children's book was slated by critics as a "vanity project" on the first day of its release, with one calling it a "bland self-help manual for needy parents."
Was only published cos of her title not because it was any good.— El (@Nell1096) June 8, 2021
The book, costing $18.99 in hardcover, has been bashed by critics. The Telegraph's Claire Allfree called it "semi-literate", writing "One wonders how any publisher could have thought fit to publish this grammar-defying set of badly rhyming cod homilies, let alone think any child anywhere would want to read it. But that's planet Sussex for you, where even the business of raising a family is all about the brand."
The Times' Alex Connell wrote "The story [is] so lacking in action and jeopardy you half wonder if the writing job was delegated to a piece of furniture…"
Archewell is also working with the team at First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise.
First Book is an organization that's distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving kids in low-income communities in the US and Canada.
Scenes in the book include several illustrations of Prince Harry and son Archie, including feeding their chickens while the Duchess is in the garden with her dogs and their new daughter, Lili. A publicity release said Meghan, who chose to use her title on the cover of the book, wanted the story to be told through an "inclusive lens" and will feature a "diverse group of father and sons."
Meghan is not the first troyal to pen a book, with Sarah, the Duchess of York, Princess Michael of Kent, and even Prince Charles, who wrote a children's book in 1980 titled The Old Man of Lochnagar to raise money for the Children's Trust.