Meghan Markle is using her new children's book to show 'how much the army meant to Harry and how upset he is to lose his military titles,' a royal author has claimed - as price is slashed by £3 a month before release.
In one illustration in The Bench, a red-headed soldier wearing an American-style Army cap is seen holding his young son aloft as a woman watches on crying from a window. This is a likely reference to her and Harry, who served in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals. The words read: 'This is your bench, Where life begins, For you and our son our baby, our kin'.
And according to royal biographer Phil Dampier, the children's book hints at how unhappy Prince Harry, 35, who served a decade in the military and two tours in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2008, is to have lost his military titles.
The royal, who served a decade in the military and two tours in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2008, is believed to have seen the loss of the titles as the 'bitterest part' of 'Megxit.'
Speaking to The Sun, Phil Dampier said: 'The illustration of a red-haired soldier (obviously you know who) hugging his little boy, looks as though he has come home from war after many years and pulls at the heart-strings.'
“The announcement of Meghan Markle’s latest project, a children’s book called ‘The Bench’, confirms her determination to become financially independent after leaving the royal family”#MeghanMarkle— Franz 👀💯‼️ (@FranzPrusse) May 6, 2021
'Mum is in tears as she looks through the window, and sees her husband returning from battle to pick up family life once more.
He continued: 'It's a scenario familiar to so many military couples separated by conflicts. 'But of course it wasn't a reality for Harry, who was in a different relationship when he served in Afghanistan.
'Rather Meghan is probably showing how much the Army meant to Harry and how upset he is to lose his military titles.'
And according to Dampier, the book is another way for the couple to express their feelings on the matter.
'The Queen decided he could not be half in and half out of the Royal Family, and therefore he could no longer continue with his honorary associations, including being Captain General of the Royal Marines,' he claimed.
'For Harry, who put his life on the line and then founded the highly successful Invictus Games for injured servicemen and women, losing the titles was the bitterest part of 'Megxit.'
The new children's book was inspired by a poem Meghan had written for Harry on Father's Day the month after Archie was born and will explore the 'special bond between father and son' as 'seen through a mother's eyes'.
Looking through previous work by Christian Robinson, the Caldecott-winning and bestselling artist who will illustrate Meghan Markle’s upcoming children’s book, “The Bench”, and 😍😍— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) May 5, 2021
MORE: https://t.co/FPwPJOyxz6 pic.twitter.com/fdSdc78Spi
It will be published on June 8 by Random House Children's Books and will be illustrated by bestselling Californian artist Christian Robinson.
However, its price has already been slashed from £12.99 to £9.99 at Amazon, Foyles and Waterstones a month before its release.
While a £3 saving can made be at a selection of retailers, anyone eager to get their hands on a copy can also pre-order the book at the cheaper price of £10.99 at WH.Smith, or £11.43 at Blackwell's.
During a bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in March, Prince Harry admitted he was 'hurt' by the Queen's decision to remove his royal patronages and honorary titles, but insisted he 'completely respects' her decision.
Reid: Meghan Markle's children's book, "The Bench", grew out of a poem she wrote for Harry for their first Father's Day after Archie's birth.https://t.co/MuXd9RScKs— Kingston’s MOVE 98.3 (@Move983) May 5, 2021
Harry will also be barred from wearing his military uniform after stepping back from Armed Forces appointments, although he can still wear his medals at engagements.
After training at Sandhurst, Harry was commissioned as an officer in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals in April 2006.
During his ten years in the Army, he undertook two operational tours of Afghanistan and qualified as an Apache helicopter commander.
His second tour of Helmand, in 2012, is believed to be one of the few times in his life that the Prince truly found contentment away from the restrictions and pressures of Royal life.
Known as 'Captain Wales' by his comrades, he proudly told one fellow soldier: 'I've got the best of both worlds. I get to do all this. I can fly helicopters. I can shine a spotlight on the work I want to do.'
It was the Army which offered Harry his first taste of life away from being a royal. Harry's military career ended in June 2015 but he has remained a passionate supporter of the Armed Forces and was handed a number of ceremonial military titles.
He said at the time: 'Luckily for me, I will continue to wear the uniform and mix with fellow servicemen and women for the rest of my life, helping where I can.'
His highest profile military title is as Captain General of the Royal Marines, a role he was handed by the Queen in December 2017, succeeding the Duke of Edinburgh.
His two-year association compares with the 64-year term of his grandfather.
Harry also quit his role as the Commodore-in-Chief Small Ships and Diving in the Royal Navy and as the Honorary Air Commandant at RAF Honington in Suffolk.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.