Meghan Markle’s life seems to be one non-stop critique after another. Recently, she was bashed by conservative commentators following her jaw-dropping Oprah interview. Now, she’s receiving heat for allegedly plagiarizing content from another children’s book in her project The Bench. However, the Duchess is adamant that her work is unique and based on Prince Harry’s real experiences as a new dad with baby Archie.
“Before you run out and waste money on the book by Harry’s wife, read ‘The Boy on the Bench’ by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo … The original,” one person wrote on Twitter.
The similarities between Markle’s new book and the 2018 UK release generated criticism. The first book by Averiss has similar themes to Markle’s children’s book, as well as images that are a little bit too similar for some Twitter users.
Markle said that her book “started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born.” Some people feel that the explanation for starting the book is too similar to what Averiss said when she published her book in 2018.
Meghan continued, “That poem became this story. Christian (Robinson, illustrator) 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. My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”
Markle’s book was described as “a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons — moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.”
A detractor of Markle’s book went so far as to charge that it was “blatantly plagiarized,” urging readers offended and incensed to “boycott” it.
“I’ll wager a bet that Corrinne’s book is in Archie’s collection. That’s where her idea came from. I don’t believe that this is all her own thinking or reflects her idyllic life whatsoever,” critic Emma Kaye Wootton said.
However, Averiss took to Twitter herself to dispel the rumors and assure her fans that the Duchess did not steal her book idea when creating The Bench.
“Reading the description and a published excerpt of the Duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities,” Averiss said.
Random House is sticking with Markle.
“Meghan’s touching text explores the relationship between fathers and sons and undeniably tugs at the heartstrings that parents and caregivers feel,” stated Mallory Loehr, EVP & Publisher, Random House Books for Young Readers Group. “Christian’s art beautifully matches the tender emotion of Meghan’s words, and every spread is infused with a vibrant sense of joy and love. The Bench is timeless—it feels destined to become one of those books that people will be reading for generations to come.”
What are your thoughts on Meghan Markle’s new children’s book?