Devon author in Duchess of Cambridge 'shop-window mannequin' row

Award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel has been reported as 'attacking' the Duchess of Cambridge as a "shop-window mannequin" with no personality, whose only purpose is to breed.

During a lecture at the British Museum, the double Booker Prize winner was said to have criticised Kate as appearing to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile in contrast to Princess Diana, who she described as awkward and emotionally incontinent.

 

Mantel's remarks were made two weeks ago during a lecture at the British Museum, organised by London Review of Books (LRB), a month after her latest novel Bring Up the Bodies won the Costa prize.

Among the things she said was: " Kate seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character. She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture."

 

She added: "In those days (Kate) was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions. Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant.

"They will find that this young woman's life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth."

 

During the lecture Mantel went on to question whether the monarchy is a "suitable institution for a grown-up nation" in a society which sacrifices royal ladies and allows them to be entertainment.

What do you think? A manufactured controversey on a valid comment of the press and public's view of the Duchess. Read the full text of her speech and make your own mind up.

. To read the full text of her speech - delivered at the British Museum - click here.

Comments (11)

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6:38pm Tue 19 Feb 13

telstar1962 says...

Hilary Mantel

SHUT UP or get a proper job yourself

HYPOCRITE
Hilary Mantel SHUT UP or get a proper job yourself HYPOCRITE telstar1962
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

I believe any unprovoked attack on someone, verbal or otherwise, just shows a lack of intelligence by the attacker.
I believe any unprovoked attack on someone, verbal or otherwise, just shows a lack of intelligence by the attacker. Gillian Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Tue 19 Feb 13

meerkats says...

Hilary Mantel .Are you so perfect that you say horrible things about others.? i very much doubt it ,i call your comments very uncalled for.
Hilary Mantel .Are you so perfect that you say horrible things about others.? i very much doubt it ,i call your comments very uncalled for. meerkats
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Lanty Slee says...

Don't believe everything you read, that's been pinched from the Daily Hate.
Don't believe everything you read, that's been pinched from the Daily Hate. Lanty Slee
  • Score: 0

8:35am Wed 20 Feb 13

ucsweb says...

Another writer, i've never heard of, trying to drum up advertising for their books.
If the books were any good they wouldn't need to do this.
Another writer, i've never heard of, trying to drum up advertising for their books. If the books were any good they wouldn't need to do this. ucsweb
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Wave says...

The Daily Mail goes on about a Mother with 11 children and their mansion being paid for by taxpayers.
But the paper doesn't seem to mind or compare the taxpayer paying for a much more expensive family, that are not even assessed on income by the benefits office, they are born into it. Yes, the Royal Family.
The Daily Mail goes on about a Mother with 11 children and their mansion being paid for by taxpayers. But the paper doesn't seem to mind or compare the taxpayer paying for a much more expensive family, that are not even assessed on income by the benefits office, they are born into it. Yes, the Royal Family. Wave
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

The only paper I buy and read is the Packet and the only 'local to me' newspaper website that I read and comment on so I wouldn't really know about the Daily Mail but I did hear about the 11 children etc but presumably the emphasis was on the fact that particular family were not self sufficient or perhaps I am wrong.
The only paper I buy and read is the Packet and the only 'local to me' newspaper website that I read and comment on so I wouldn't really know about the Daily Mail but I did hear about the 11 children etc but presumably the emphasis was on the fact that particular family were not self sufficient or perhaps I am wrong. Gillian Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

These comments were made about the media and just use Kate as an example.

Thousands if not millions of us think and say similar or far worse things about (the coverage and portrayal of) the royals in the media and no one bats an eyelid.

Just because this author recently won the Booker Prize with what sounds like a boring historical novel, everyone's up in arms about it, thanks to the good old Daily Mail of course.

So it's not just the royals who are having their strings pulled by the media, is it?
These comments were made about the media and just use Kate as an example. Thousands if not millions of us think and say similar or far worse things about (the coverage and portrayal of) the royals in the media and no one bats an eyelid. Just because this author recently won the Booker Prize with what sounds like a boring historical novel, everyone's up in arms about it, thanks to the good old Daily Mail of course. So it's not just the royals who are having their strings pulled by the media, is it? Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Wave says...

I saw the headline shouting out at me from a shop stand.
I think the emphasis is on the issue that people should not have children if they are on benefits perhaps?
Whatever the issue the media should not get involved identifying individuals.
I saw the headline shouting out at me from a shop stand. I think the emphasis is on the issue that people should not have children if they are on benefits perhaps? Whatever the issue the media should not get involved identifying individuals. Wave
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Wed 20 Feb 13

ucsweb says...

It worked. Just announced her book sales are up!
It worked. Just announced her book sales are up! ucsweb
  • Score: 0

11:15am Fri 22 Feb 13

molesworth says...

Er, sorry. But Mantel's comments were quite correct. The Duchess's primary role is to breed and Lady Di was awkward and emotionally incontinent. Why are we, commoners, upset at these comments in any case? It's all tittle tattle and not worth reporting let alone commenting on.

I know, I know...
Er, sorry. But Mantel's comments were quite correct. The Duchess's primary role is to breed and Lady Di was awkward and emotionally incontinent. Why are we, commoners, upset at these comments in any case? It's all tittle tattle and not worth reporting let alone commenting on. I know, I know... molesworth
  • Score: 0

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