Hilary Mantel attack on 'plastic' Kate Middleton sparks anger
Author calls pregnant Duchess a 'doll' with 'no personality' - but have critics missed the point?
AWARD-WINNING author Hilary Mantel has switched her attention from Tudor royals to their latter day equivalents and passed scathing judgment on the Duchess of Cambridge.
The double Booker Prize-winning novelist appeared to round on Kate Middleton in an hour-long lecture for the London Review of Books called 'Royal Bodies' about the role of the monarchy.
In it she described the wife of Prince William as "a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung... with no personality of her own".
She added that her "only point and purpose" was to give birth and said that now she was pregnant Kate had been "draped in another set of threadbare attributions".
And that was not all. "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," said Mantel. "She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture."
She added that the Duchess "appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished."
Her comments have caused a storm in some sections of the media.
In another piece for the Telegraph, Barnett claims she is "sick of people like Mantel and Louise Mensch lambasting the Duchess". The editor of royal magazine Majesty also declares herself appalled.
However, The Times points out that much of the perceived criticism from Mantel was actually about the media representation of the Duchess.
The comments about the Duchess having "dead eyes" and a "strained smile" actually referred to her official portrait, which drew widespread scorn when it was unveiled last month.
A spokesman for Mantel claimed the lecture was "sympathetic" to Kate and that it was about "how the institution of royalty has to project and how it comes across".