It’s one of the most hotly anticipated books of the year — the Duchess of Sussex’s first book for children, The Bench.
Meghan dedicated the 34-page illustrated story to Prince Harry and their son Archie, saying they ‘make my heart go pump-pump’.
Yet critics were left underwhelmed after its release this week, with one dubbing it a ‘self-help manual for needy parents’, even though children might warm to the colourful pictures, if not the clunky verse.
In a spirit of fun, the Mail’s incomparable satirist CRAIG BROWN takes a jovial stab at his own interpretation of Meghan’s poetry…
Meghan Markle’s 34-page illustrated story was released this week and critics were left underwhelmed. The Mail’s incomparable satirist Craig Brown takes a jovial stab at his own interpretation of Meghan’s poetry
1. This is my desk
Where I think up verses
That I can never quite make scan
But at least they rhyme
Quite a bit of the time
And if you think they don’t
Well, that’s your opinion, not mine.
Or would that ‘mine’ be better as ‘grime’
To rhyme with ‘time’
Or ‘lime’, or ‘mime’, or ‘slime’?
Writing kids’ verse is so tricky, I’m
Tempted to call it a day
And devote all my energy
To saving our planet
Rather than just copying those Janet
And John books
I read as a kid
Don’t say I didn’t
’Cos my truth is I did.
This is my desk
Where I phone my friends Serena
Oprah, Amal, the Beckhams and Barack
‘Hey guys! Great idea! Let’s make our world greener!’
This is my desk
Where I take calls from the Queen
‘Hey! Meg! How’s it going?
What’s new, babe? Where yo’ been?’
2. We talk about everything, HM and me —
Kanye, lip gloss, sushi and fashion
Personal growth, box-sets, book deals and TV,
And how to spread love, peace, truth and compassion.
HM asks my advice
On how to be authentic
I tell her it means speaking
Almost like you meant it.
‘You must smile more, and wave,
Be true to your roots.
Act kind of sincere —
That’s a trick I learnt on Suits.
‘And when the love flows
It’ll be like heaven, you
Will be showered with awards
As well as boosting your revenue.’
And it’s around this time I tell her
I’ve taken a silly bet
That I’ll make out we’re besties,
By naming my girl Lilibet.
3. This is the hen house
Where we feed our pet chicks
They’re all under contract
To look cute on Netflix.
4. This is your desk
Where the critics cannot hurt you
And you can spend all day
Signalling your virtue.
This is the desk
For papa and son, when he gets older
Though not MY papa —
No, I gave him the cold shoulder.
Nor will I speak to my sister,
That viper, shark, panther:
You may talk of compassion but
Don’t mention Samantha.
Right here on my desk,
The place you’ll call home
With daddy and son
Where you’ll never be ’lone
Oh jeez, I can’t make ’lone
Rhyme with home.
My kiddy verse has unfurled
But at least as a proud mother, wife, feminist, Duchess and activist I remain determined to uplift and unite communities, spread compassion, attend premieres, dress smart/casual and tell our truth
To the world.