Why Prince Harry is the baby bedtime book king - and the other royals love a story, too

·5-min read

Watch: Prince Harry 'adores' daughter Lili, 'loves reading her bedtime stories'

Prince Harry is a doting dad, that's obvious. He has spoke fondly of watching son Archie, two, ride his trike, trips to the beach and collecting eggs from his son's little hen-house in the grounds together.

When Harry and Meghan's daughter, Lilibet Diana, was born in June, he took almost a full five months paternity leave to spend time with her and Archie. Though he guards the privacy of his family fiercely, he recently told singer Ed Sheeran, “Two is definitely a juggle...the baby is lovely."

He added, "We’ve been lucky so far, she’s very chilled and seems happy to just sit there while Archie is running around like crazy.”

According to a source who spoke to US Weekly Magazine, Harry is also fully committed to the bedtime routine. 

“Harry adores Lili and loves reading her bedtime stories and rocking her to sleep,” the source said. “He has a real magic touch.

"Every day just gets happier. There’s just so much love and gratitude and they couldn’t ask for more.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends the Sentebale Audi Concert at Hampton Court Palace on June 11, 2019 in London, England. The charity Sentebale was founded by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Harry is happier than ever - and the king of bedtime stories. (Getty Images)

Read more: Watch Meghan read Archie a bedtime story

Although Lili is just 4 months old, it's clear the Prince and Meghan believe it's never too early to introduce children to books. They haven't revealed which ones are favourites, although there's a good chance that Meghan's own children's book, The Bench, is amongst them.

Published earlier this year, it's a story told in rhyme, featuring various dads bonding with their sons. 

Meghan was inspired to write The Bench after composing a fathers' day poem for Harry, and dedicated the book to Harry and Archie. 

Back in 2016, Duchess of Sussex was asked what children’s book she couldn’t wait to share with her future children. She said, “The Giving Tree," a picture book by Shel Silverstein about a little boy and his relationship with the tree.

A copy of
Meghan's book, The Bench, was dedicated to her family. (Reuters)

They're not the only royals who love to read stories to their children however.

William and Kate both enjoy reading aloud to George, Charlotte and Louis. When Prince William was introduced to Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, he told her, "“I read this to our children all the time.” -and added, “Do you realise how many parents you have saved at bedtime?” 

He also expressed a fondness for another of her books, Room on the Broom, saying," It’s a big hit in our household.”

William also uses the bedtime routine to tell the children stories about 'Granny Diana.'

“It’s hard because obviously Catherine didn’t know her so she cannot really provide that level of detail," he explained, "so I regularly put George and Charlotte to bed, talk about her and just try to remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives."

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge listens to children's author Michael Morpurgo read one of his stories to children from London's Vauxhall Primary school  during a visit to a 'Farms for Children' farm in Gloucestershire on May 3, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLE        (Photo credit should read RICHARD POHLE/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge listens to children's author Michael Morpurgo read one of his stories to children from London's Vauxhall Primary school. (Getty Images)

His stepmother, too, is a big fan of sharing a love of books. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is patron of the National Literacy Trust and in June was snapped reading from much loved classic Elmer as she launched a story trail at a picnic with schoolchildren.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust and Joint President of Elephant Family, reads Elmer as she launches their Story Trail at a picnic with school pupils, alongside the elephant sculptures recently installed in St James's Park on June 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla used to read aloud to her own children, too. Getty Images)

Surprisingly, perhaps, Prince Charles also loves to throw himself into telling a bedtime story. Camilla recently revealed that he took personal responsibility for introducing Harry Potter to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. 

In the documentary Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, she explained that Charles loved to read the stories. "He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think the children really appreciate that,” she said.

Read more: Duchess of Cornwall reads poetry with school children

Charles even wrote his own children's book way back in 1980. Called The Old Man of Lochnagar, it featured an old man who lives in a cave in the cliffs surrounding the corrie loch under the Lochnagar, a mountain which overlooks the royal estate at Balmoral in Scotland.

Another story-loving family member of course, is Sarah Ferguson, who writes her own children's books, and now has a hugely popular Youtube channel, Storytime with Fergie and Friends, where she dresses up and reads stories aloud for children. 

GLENDALE, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Writer Sarah Ferguson, Dutchess of York attends a signing for her book
The Duchess of York writes her own children's books, too. (Getty Images)

Her daughter Princess Beatrice has also made appearances on the channel, and has revealed that Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is one of her favourites, 

Sarah Ferguson once said, "If I am lucky enough to be blessed with grandchildren, it will be the most wonderful sense of joy for me and of course, I will be making up stories every day for them."

Now she has three - Eugenie's son August, and Beatrice's Stepson Wolfie and her new baby Sienna. With this many relations to read stories to them, bedtime's going to be a riot. 

Watch: Camilla reads to small children during library visit

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