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.