KEY POINTS

  • Sarah Ferguson congratulated Meghan Markle on her new children's book, "The Bench"
  • Ferguson said writing a book for any genre "should be supported and respected"
  • Markle's "The Bench" is set to be published on June 8

Sarah Ferguson praised Meghan Markle after learning that the Duchess of Sussex will be publishing her first children's book.

The Duchess of York, 61, congratulated Markle, 39, on her new children's book, "The Bench," telling Daily Mail's Sebastian Shakespeare in an interview, "To sit down and work hard to write a book, in any genre, should be supported and respected."

Ferguson, who has authored several children's books over the years, went on to praise Prince Harry's wife, saying, "To encourage literacy in general not just children's books, is a love of mine and to encourage more women to delve into their creative selves and get a book out is very well done."

Ferguson has authored "Ballerina Rosie," "Tea for Ruby" and the memoir "Finding Sarah," to name a few. Among her works is the "Little Red" series of children's books inspired by a doll.

Ferguson shared a snap of the doll on Instagram and the poignant story behind it. Apparently, days after the 9/11 attack and after the tower had fallen, the firefighters found the Little Red doll hidden under the rubble unscathed. It has since been placed in the 9/11 memorial museum.

Ferguson is now venturing into adult fiction with a historical romance novel for Mills & Boon that will be released in August. The book was inspired in part by the duchess' Scottish great-great-aunt — Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.

In the novel, Lady Margaret is portrayed as a flame-haired Victorian rebel with a daring free spirit cast out from polite society. The duchess said she used her imagination for the most part in creating the tale because little is known about her aristocratic ancestry.

"I have written 74 books over 30 years but this one is special as it was written during the pandemic and is my first ever historical novel," Ferguson said, adding that the book was "something I have been waiting to write for 15 years.”

Meanwhile, Markle was criticized and accused of plagiarism recently due to her children’s book's alleged similarities with Corrinne Averiss' "The Boy on the Bench." However, the author immediately defended the duchess against the plagiarism allegations.

"Reading the description and published excerpt of the Duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities," Averiss tweeted.

"The Bench," which centers on the bond between a father and son, is set to be published on June 8.

Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have taken legal action against several media publications, alleging invasion of privacy Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have taken legal action against several media publications, alleging invasion of privacy Photo: POOL / Tolga AKMEN