The Royals' Favorite Children's Books

Here's what members of the British royal family read to their kids or enjoyed when they were young.

“Royals ― they’re just like us!”

Obviously, that is not true: These are humans who regularly wear ball gowns, live in palaces and take international tours to spend time among “the people.” But occasionally, members of the British royal family reveal interests that overlap with those of us commoners.

Children’s books are one such example. Over the years, Prince William, Princess Eugenie and other royals have shared the books they enjoyed reading as children or have chosen as bedtime entertainment for their own kids. They’ve also officially endorsed or published works for young readers. And Meghan Markle even wrote one called “The Bench.”

We’ve rounded up 14 books loved by members of the British royal family for your family’s literary inspiration.

"The Bench"
Random House
Meghan Markle published "The Bench" on June 8, 2021. With art from Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson, the Duchess of Sussex noted that the book started off as a poem she wrote for Prince Harry.

She said, "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.”
"The Gruffalo"
In 2018, Prince William chatted with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the author and illustrator of the children’s book "The Gruffalo," at a Tusk Trust event and reportedly told them the book was "a big hit" in his household.
"Duck! Rabbit!"
In May 2020, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared a sweet video of the Duchess of Sussex reading "Duck! Rabbit!" (written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld) to their son Archie on the Save the Children UK Instagram account.
"Room On The Broom"
While visiting an ice cream parlor in Wales in February 2020, Prince William reacted to a child reading "Room on the Broom" byJulia Donaldson. "I read this to our children all the time!" he said and then recalled meeting the author. "I said, 'Do you realize how many parents you have saved at bedtime?'"
"Guess How Much I Love You"
Princess Eugenie referred to "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram as her favorite book in a special video reading for her mother's YouTube channel in April 2020.
"Is Your Mama A Llama"
In the video of Markle reading "Duck! Rabbit!" to Archie, the baby royal was also seen grabbing another favorite book, "Is Your Mama A Llama?" written by Deborah Guarino and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Prince Harry reportedly gifted his nephew Prince Louis a first edition of A. A. Milne's "Winnie-the-Pooh" to celebrate his christening in 2018.
"Harry Potter"
In a 2018 BBC One documentary marking Prince Charles' 70th birthday, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, revealed that her husband loves to read the "Harry Potter" series to his grandchildren and does different voices for the characters.
"Mommy Hugs"
The video of Markle and Archie reading "Duck! Rabbit!" also showed they have a copy of "Mommy Hugs" by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben.
"Xtraordinary People"
In March 2021, Princess Beatrice narrated a dyslexia-themed children's book called "Xtraordinary People" by Kate Griggs. "It's no secret that I struggled with my dyslexia as a child and often even wished it away. But now I see it as a tremendous gift, and I want every dyslexic child to know that they, too, can tap into their dyslexic strengths," she said of the book.
"The Giving Tree"
Markle named "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein a book she couldn't "wait to share" with her future children during a round of rapid-fire interview questions in 2016.
"Hospital By The Hill"
Prince Harry wrote a personal forward for Chris Connaughton's "Hospital by the Hill," a children's book for kids who've lost parents or other loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. “While I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone," he wrote. "When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support."
"The Little Prince"
Markle's now-defunct blog The Tig featured a 2016 post called "Badass Reading List," which included "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. "Even if I don’t revisit the entire existential text (masked as a children’s book), the chapter of The Little Fox unearths a truth in me that is always worth the check-in," she wrote.
"Little Red"
Simon and Schuster
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has written several children's books, including her "Little Red" series. Illustrated by Sam Williams, the books follow a redheaded rag doll and her adventures with friends.

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