Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is going to read the children’s book The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, on CBeebies Bedtime Stories as part of Children’s Mental Health Week. Meghan Markle fans have called foul, arguing that Catherine is just a “talentless copycat” following in her sister-in-law’s footsteps, who read her own book as part of a story time YouTube channel last year. But there’s no comparison.
Catherine is reading her book for charity and to help encourage children and families who might be struggling, Meghan was reading hers at the behest of her publisher in order to make money by selling more copies of her book.
The BBC production CBeebies Bedtime Stories brings on various celebrities to read books to children. Some of the celebrities who have graced young children with their story time abilities include Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer, Tom Hiddleston and others.
Now royalty is joining the ranks.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a passionate advocate for children’s mental health and has filmed a video reading the book The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, which is about an owl who is scared of the dark but learns its importance over seven chapters. Originally published in 1968, it is considered a classic.
Patricia Hidalgo, the director of BBC Children’s and Education programing, said: “I couldn’t be more proud to have the duchess read a CBeebies Bedtime Story as we mark the 20th anniversary of our CBeebies and CBBC channels.
“It’s such a special and relevant tale and perfectly represents this years’ Children’s Mental Health Week theme. I can’t wait to see her deliver her own take on such a classic story and I’m sure our audience can’t either.”
Sussex fans are not amused and have accused the future Queen of copying her sister-in-law, who also read a book on a story time YouTube channel last year.
Who knew someone could have a monopoly on reading books to children?
Just last year, Meghan Markle did her own story time. But it wasn’t for a charity or another notable cause. She was doing, likely at the request of her publisher, in order to try to sell her unsellable book, The Bench.
In 2021, Meghan shared with the world that she and Harry secured a publishing deal, and their first venture would be a children’s book based on a poem the former actress wrote to her husband after the birth of son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. She called it The Bench.
The book wasn’t a runaway hit.
While the artwork is incredible, critics and reviewers were quick to point out that the book is more for adults than it is for children.
For The Times of London, Janice Turner argued, “Where’s the fun in The Bench? It doesn’t have a bear under the stairs (Helen Cooper) or a tiger coming for tea (Judith Kerr) or an elephant schooling a bad baby (Raymond Briggs) or pigs aplenty, pigs galore (David McPhail). The Bench is a children’s book for adults to buy other adults because, in the publisher’s blurb, ‘it touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons.’”
Likely due to the book not selling very well, Meghan was asked by the publisher to read the book as part of the Brightly Storytime YouTube channel. In order to avoid a negativity that surrounds the deeply unpopular duchess, the publisher made the wise decision to turn off the comments for the video, though that didn’t stop people from overwhelming it with thumbs down votes (due to a change in YouTube policy, it’s impossible to compare the thumbs up and thumbs down votes anymore).
However, regardless of her book’s reception, there’s a huge difference between Catherine and Meghan readings: one is for charity and to uplift children and families, the other exists just to sell more books.
Meghan wanted to get paid for every little thing she did as a member of the royal family, even for a charity event. Catherine is doing this book reading and is probably stepping out of her comfort zone in order to help others. That’s why, when it comes to this book reading, there is no comparison. Everything Meghan does is for some sort of payday, but Catherine understands that charity isn’t about what you can get for yourself, but how you can encourage and uplift people who may be struggling.
That’s why Sussex fans are wrong about this comparison.