Meghan Markle reads her new children’s book to Harlem students during NYC visit

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband have been in New York City all week

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Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have been visiting New York City this week, and on Friday, they made time to go see some of the city’s younger residents to promote early literacy.

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit One World Observatory With NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit One World Observatory at One World Observatory on Sept. 23, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

On Friday morning, the high-profile couple joined NYC Public School System Chancellor Meisha Porter at P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson School in Harlem, where Markle treated the second graders in attendance to a special reading of her new children’s book, The Bench.

“I wrote this when we just had our little boy, and I haven’t read it to any other kids but you!” she told them while her husband sat amongst them on the ground.

The mother of two dedicated the book to “the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump,” according to PEOPLE.

She explained to her audience that the phrase “pump-pump” comes from the way she explains to her 2-year-old son Archie how the heart works.

The excited children screamed with glee and even shed a few tears while meeting with the Duke and Duchess. They also made Markle and Prince Harry pink paper hearts that had their personal stories and special messages written on them.

Markle took her time going through the handmade gifts, often referring to the students by name.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also donated two garden boxes filled with vegetables and herbs to support the school’s ongoing community efforts and the need for fresh food,” according to PEOPLE. “Through Meghan and Harry’s Archewell Foundation’s partnership with Procter & Gamble, they are also providing health products for families at the school as well as a washing machine and dryer for students’ uniforms.”

And at one point, Principal Melitina Hernandez and two student ambassadors gave the couple a tour of the school grounds, the highlight of which was a beautiful mural painted by fourth and fifth graders.

As theGrio previously reported, back in May, Markle announced that she had written a children’s book called The Bench, inspired by the relationship between her husband and their son.

At the time, the then 39-year-old mother who was pregnant with the couple’s second child, shared that she’d first wrote a poem for Harry on Father’s Day, a month after Archie was born. She noted that she wrote it with the hopes of exploring the special bond between father and son as “seen through a mother’s eyes.”

Eventually, that idea developed into The Bench, a full children’s book illustrated by best-selling artist Christian Robinson. The book includes pictures of a red-headed soldier meant to be a nod to the Duke of Sussex. The story was released on June 8, with Markle narrating the audiobook.

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