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The 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex released "The Bench" on Tuesday. The price of the book is currently listed as $13.16 on Amazon for a hard copy, $6.95 for an audiobook (which she narrates) and $11.99 for the Kindle version. Markle said previously the book was inspired by a poem she wrote for Prince Harry on his first father's day in 2019.
On Wednesday, Markle and Harry's charitable organization Archewell announced the former American actress received support from her publisher to donate the 2,000 free copies "to libraries, community centers, schools and nonprofit programs across the country." It appears the donations will only take place in America and not Harry's native United Kingdom, despite the book being available worldwide.
Archewell says the donations will help contribute to its overall goal of "nourishment through learning and connection." The announcement, which commends the duchess' Save With Stories initiative from 2020, also stresses the free copies will be distributed at a unique time for kids given the coronavirus pandemic posed "unprecedented challenges for kids" over the last year.
The release also praises Markle for believing in "nourishing our communities through food, education, and emotional and mental health support."
"Those receiving free copies include vital organizations like Assistance League® of Los Angeles, which has served the local community for more than 100 years and which The Duke and Duchess visited twice last year to spend time with the children at the organization’s Preschool Learning Center," the announcement continues.
Archewell teamed up with the nonprofit First Book for the initiative.
News of the 2,000 donations of Markle's book come amid a flurry of questions surrounding the bidding war that potentially took place among publishers. At least one expert has estimated Markle may have pocketed over $500,000, according to the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, it appears the duchess already gifted copies of "The Bench" to her star-studded close circle. Photographer Gray Malin promoted the book on his Instagram on Friday while Heather Dorak, Markle's close friend, reportedly posted her copy online too along with a message Harry's wife wrote that reads, "From one momma to another - for the love of our boys."
Markle, who gave birth to daughter Lilibet on June 4, previously stated that "The Bench" will explore the "special bond between father and son" as "seen through a mother’s eyes" — and has dedicated the book to Harry and Archie, writing in the inscription in her famous calligraphy: "For the man and the boy who make my heart go pump-pump."
Indeed, the book features an illustration of Harry and Archie, recognizable with their red hair, sitting on a bench feeding the family’s rescue chickens, which the couple house at their $14.5 million mansion in Montecito, Calif.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.