Fans of the Duchess of Sussex are obsessed with what she wears, where she shops, what she eats, how she washes her face, and how she parents. So it isn't exactly surprising that many fans also want to know what she reads. Luckily, she does have at least one official recommendation: One of Meghan Markle's favorite poems is "A Note from the Beach" by Matt Haig, she revealed in the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. It may surprise you to learn that the poem includes the word "f*ck." I'll give you and the Queen a moment to recover.
Markle used her power as the first ever guest editor of the prestigious September issue of British Vogue to celebrate 15 women whom she describes as "Forces for Change." All 15 women — including actress Laverne Cox, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and boxer Ramla Ali— grace the cover.
But Markle didn't stop at page one; she put a personal touch on every single section of the magazine, and even interviewed Michelle Obama for the issue. Additional features include a Prince Harry sit-down with Dr. Jane Goodall, and articles written by author and motivational speaker Dr. Brené Brown and The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil.
It was in the magazine's arts and culture section where Markle shared a "personal favorite" poem, which beautifully challenges the notion of the "perfect beach body." Markle calls it "the best reminder during the summer season... or any season, as a matter of fact."
The passage reads, at one point: "I don't care about your body. I am a beach. I literally don't give a f*ck."
In a tweet, author Matt Haig confirmed that the excerpt chosen by the Duchess of Sussex is actually a chapter from Notes on a Nervous Planet, a nonfiction book about staying calm, happy, and somewhat sane in a digital age that demands all of our attention all of the time. Released in 2018, Notes on a Nervous Planet is the successor to Haig's popular nonfiction book from 2015, Reasons to Stay Alive, in which he wrote about his struggles with depression, suicidal ideation, and the winding, difficult path to happiness. That book was the second bestselling nonfiction book of 2016 in the UK.
Haig has also released a number of novels for children and adults, including the 2018 book How to Stop Time, which Bustle writer Charlotte Ahlin described as "a clever, beautifully crafted novel about love, history, and the tangled mess that comes with trying to live a human life of any length." His work is, very often, focused on finding peace in a chaotic world.
For Meghan Markle, it seems, that perspective is much needed. In an archived article from her now-defunct lifestyle brand The Tig, she revealed the five books that make her feel like a badass, and many of them, like Haig's books, are oriented around making the best of a world that can be cruel, unfair, and chaotic. These days, that perspective is much-needed.