Posts tagged with "Duchess of Sussex"

Not so authentic? Meghan Markle is accused of plagiarizing her children’s book

May 6, 2021

Meghan Markle has been accused of stealing her children’s book, “The Bench” from a British author’s 2018 work, The Sun (UK) reports.

The Duchess of Sussex penned the book—scheduled to be released in the United States on June 8 by Random House Books for Young Readers— after originally writing a poem for Harry’s first Father’s Day with their son Archie, who will turn two next month.

But critics have pointed out that it bears  some close similarities to “The Boy and The Bench”—published by Farshore in September 20018 and written by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo.

Not only do both books feature a colorful cover illustration of a bench under a tree surrounded by birds—but one illustration by award-winning artist Christian Robinson in Meghan’s book shows a dad with his baby boy dozing on a lounge chair outside.The text says: “From here you will rest, see the growth of our boy.”

Some have claimed the image is similar to one in “The Boy and the Bench,” which features a birds-eye view of a dad and son on a bench, The Sun notes.

“Before you run out and waste money on the book by Harry’s wife, read ‘The Boy on the Bench’ by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo … The original,” one Twitter user wrote of the apparent likeness, according to a report by The New York Post’s Page Six.

Dozens of others soon complained on Twitter that the Duchess of Sussex’s book, “The Bench,” didn’t only share a similar title to UK author Averiss’ 2018 book — but also similar artwork from Christian Robinson.

One online critic, Emma Kaye Wootton, even suggested that the book was “blatantly plagiarized” and that Markle’s work should be “boycotted.”

Another British reader said, “This woman is incapable of an original thought. “The Boy on the Bench” is a story about the love between a father and son, and describes how the boy learns to socialize confidently. I hope that Corrine Averiss considers legal action.”

Yet another, “British born & bred @Dianne Zecher,” commented, “I find it quite a coincidence that someone else named Corrine Averiss wrote a book called “The Boyon the Bench” in 2018 about a young boy & his father. Surely the duchess wouldn’t have accidently [sic] lifted someone else’s work, tweaked it, & served it up to be published?”

The hubbub comes after Markle was accused in July 2019 by the authors of a book to which she contributed of ripping off the design of her “British Vogue” cover.

At the time Cosmopolitan magazine noted, “Apparently, Meghan ‘helped produce’ (read: wrote an essay for) “The Game Changers” by Samantha Brett and Steph Adams about three years before guest editing Vogue’s Force of Change issue—and it also uses a grid cover with black-and-white photos.”

Meghan, herself, has 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 make up, as much as it does with me.”

But, The Sun notes, royal experts have pointed out it comes at a time when Meghan and Harry’s relationships with their own fathers could not be more strained.

Meghan has not spoken to her father Thomas, 76, for three years and even embroiled him in a High Court privacy case.

Meanwhile Harry, 36, accused his father Prince Charles of being trapped in the Royal ­Family and told Oprah Winfrey in their interview that his family had cut him off financially.

A press release that accompanies the announcement describes it as a story that “touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family.”

Meanwhile, the author of the 2018 book, Corrine Averiss, refuses to become involved in the ruckus—denying that she sees any similarities.

Research contact: @TheSun

Shoppers snap up furniture and fashion from Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan

March 23, 2021

You might not be able to sit down with Oprah, but you can sit down like Oprah, thanks to patio furniture that resembles the set featured in her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, NBC News reports.

While the focus of Oprah’s widely watched conversation with the couple revolved around several bombshell revelations about the royal family, the patio furniture and the outfits and accessories worn by Meghan and Oprah Winfrey also got lots of attention.

According to NBC, several news outlets already have tracked down a set of chairs that they claimed were the ones used in the interview. The set, which was available on Amazon and at several other retailers, was listed for about $600 and is sold out on multiple sites. Another nearly identical set of rattan chairs on Walmart.com retailed for over $300 and is also sold out. Lookalikes for other items, such as the outdoor rug, the low table and the succulents centerpiece, were also featured in articles and quickly sold out.

It wasn’t just the patio furniture that had people talking.

Oprah’s Götti eyeglasses spawned articles with several lookalike frames, and the designer of Meghan’s dress was quickly identified as Giorgio Armani.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData’s retail division, attributed the fascination with clothing, accessories and even patio furniture to two things.

“First of all, a lot of famous people tend to be very put together in their outfits. Someone like Oprah will have a stylist, will think about what she’s wearing. … That does make the clothes they wear quite enviable,” Saunders told NBC News. “The other thing, when you have someone like Meghan, a lot of people admire her, [which] makes her a kind of icon as an individual, and people look to emulate that in terms of the things she’s wearing to try to get a bit of that kind of attitude or personality into their own psyche.”

There was also lots of speculation about the significance of the lotus flower featured on Meghan’s dress, which mirrors similar treatments of the sartorial and styling choices other politicians, royals, and world figures make when they appear in public. An entire industry has cropped up dedicated to analyzing the choices celebrities make with their ensembles, which can often carry significant meaning, be it positive or negative.

“Where there’s a very high-profile event, be it an inauguration or big interview like this that lots of people tune in to, inevitably the products and the outfits and garments featured really gather a lot of attention,” Saunders said. “You start having a lot of curiosity about where these products came from, and then people search them out online or find things that are similar.”

The fascination then leads to increased spending as the items are quickly sourced and sell out online. As consumers have sought out such information more readily, designers have become more vocal on social media, taking ownership of certain looks and sharing details about the process and inspiration behind them.

The designers and stylists behind outfits worn by the Obamas, Kate and Meghan have made similar posts in the past, and Ivanka Trump used social media to promote her eponymous clothing line after an appearance at the Republican National Convention.

After Biden’s inauguration, the hairstylist who worked on Michelle Obama’s hair posted on Instagram about the look. The designer who made first lady Jill Biden’s ensemble for inauguration night shared that it featured the official flowers from every state and U.S. territory.

“Social  media platforms have really democratized fashion and trends, because it becomes very, very easy for a designer to really showcase their wares to very large audiences in a way that in the past you just couldn’t do,” Saunders said. “Before the advent of social media, to amplify your brand you would have to get a placement in one of the big magazines, you’d have to get on the news or be talked about in the media, and that wasn’t always easy.”

Now, not only is it easier for the designers to promote the looks, but consumers are also so eager to emulate what they see on famous figures that other designers and brands will often launch similar styles or “knockoffs” to capitalize on the fascination and spending.

Research contact: @NBCNews