Royal commentators, ever eager to criticize Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, have reacted with horror and derision to the duchess’ release of her 107-second children’s audiobook of her recently published title, Express reports.
One critic of Meghan Markle’s audiobook, which she released after she and Harry gave a series of controversial interviews in which they lambasted the royal family, noted that it is so short and disproportionately pricey, it costs 8 cents per word.
Slammed as a juvenile and amateurish effort on the part of Meghan Markle, who married Harry in May 2018 and recently gave birth to their second child, the audiobook of “The Bench” proved so unpopular that its price was slashed in half within hours of its release.
The audiobook is retailing for an astonishing $15.
It also makes it one of Amazon’s most expensive audiobooks.
The audiobook’s release has only thrown gasoline on the bonfire of criticism of Meghan Markle and Harry.
In The Telegraph, Claire Allfree wrote: “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.”
Allfree went on to say: “But that’s planet Sussex for you, where even the business of raising a family is all about the brand.”
The Daily Mail reports that the children’s book and its accompanying pricey audiobook were inspired by a poem that Meghan Markle wrote for Harry’s first Father’s Day directly after the birth of their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in May 2019.
Meghan’s novel is already part of a ‘buy one get one half price’ deal at a WHSmith store in Newcastle city centre.
Critics of Meghan Markle and Harry have excoriated her book and associated audiobook as a “vanity project.”
One trashed it as a “self-help manual for needy parents” while another called it “semi-literate.”
The Daily Mail questioned a passerby in Newcastle about Meghan Markle and Harry and the release of her audiobook, prompting the reply: “She’s trying to make a name for herself any way she can.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Meghan’s book, the text of which is in rhymes, is illustrated in watercolor by Christian Robinson.
Markle’s rhyming narrative is complemented by illustrator Christian Robinson’s watercolour images, showing families of different skin colours 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.
The Sydney Morning Herald
The book and audiobook’s publisher, Random House, says it is a portrait of “the special relationships between fathers and sons, through a mother’s eyes.”
Royal critics reacted with horror to the fact that despite her having said that royal titles don’t matter to her in her and Harry’s recent Oprah Winfrey interview, she went by “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex” on the book’s cover.
In her review of the book for The Telegraph, Allfree cringed at what she saw as Meghan Markle’s emasculation of Harry in her book and associated audiobook.
“Poor Harry’s role in this marriage is to sit on his bench holding the baby while Meghan gets on and conquers the world, one act of compassion at a time,” she wrote.
The Bench, published worldwide today and apparently based on a poem Meghan wrote for Harry on Father’s Day, is presented as a story for children. But it’s nothing of the sort, not least since it’s not a story. Rather it’s a series of imperatives disguised as loving verse in which Meghan offers words of wisdom to Harry (represented throughout as a sort of racially inclusive, everyman paternal figure) and by implication to the rest of us, on how to handle the tricky business of loving a child.