The news that Meghan Markle is to become a published author has been met with excitement from many – but suspicion from a few.
On Tuesday it was announced that the Duchess' debut literary work, a children's book called The Bench, will be published on June 8.
Inspired by a poem creative Meghan (who once ran a successful lifestyle blog) wrote for husband Prince Harry for his first Father's Day, the story will centre on the special bond between a dad and his son.
It's a subject near and dear to the former Suits star's heart, but a royal commentator says that's the problem.
Daniela Elser accuses Meghan of monetising her family life through her "unfortunate" choice to write about a "very touchy subject" in a new column for news.com.au.
"The concept of a book focused on loving paternal bonds being spruiked by a couple whose brand has become synonymous with poisonous family relationships is just a bit hard to swallow," she writes.
Both Meghan and Harry have strained relationships with their own dads, with the former's famous estrangement dragged into public view in her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday.
In February a London court found in Meghan's favour after she sued the tabloid for publishing letters provided by dad Thomas Markle which she'd written to him.
Meanwhile in the couple's now-iconic Oprah interview in March, Harry opened up about feeling "really let down" by Prince Charles, who he accused of cutting him off financially and refusing to take his calls.
"Of course I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that," he said.
Meghan and Harry 'Find Freedom'
Elser says Meghan's decision to write and promote a book about fatherly bonds feels incongruous.
"The only thing which might have been more discordant would have been Harry putting out a lovely touchy-feely picture book about the power of brotherly love."
The Royal Family is no stranger to the publishing world, with both Prince Charles and Sarah Ferguson having penned children's books of their own.
The former wrote The Old Man of Lochnagar in 1980, while "Fergie" has published more than 25 works in 25 years including the Helping Hands series that educates kids about health and safety.
But Elser notes The Bench breaks the "palace mould" because it's about a topic deeply personal to its author — parenthood.
She adds: "Handily for Meghan and Harry, The Bench will most likely sell like hot cakes and be guaranteed a money spinner, handy given that since their palace flit they have had to pick up their own bills.
"And that brings us to another point of potential contention, which is, in putting out a book based on Harry's relationship with Archie, we arrive at the potentially uncomfortable intersection of the Sussexes' toddler son and their revenue raising activities."
Young Archie has already appeared on his parents' Spotify podcast, to criticism from Sussex sceptics, one of whom accused the couple of using their son as "clickbait".
Elser says we will have to reserve judgement on whether The Bench feels like exploitation or not until it comes out next month.
"This situation does highlight the very tricky line Harry and Meghan need to tread between churning out things of commercial interest and the unfortunate whiff that they might be monetising their lives in the most crass fashion."
The description for Meghan's book reads: "The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born.
"That poem became this story. 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.
"My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine."
Representatives for Meghan Markle have been approached for comment.
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