Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Novelist's biting criticism of Kate Middleton sets off uproar in Britain

A novelist, a duchess and a tabloid newspaper have ignited an explosive debate in Britain: Is it all right to criticize a pregnant Kate?

The Daily Mail on Tuesday ran a front-page broadside against two-time Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel for what it called her "venomous attack" on the former Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge.

Within hours, the Internet was ablaze. Prime Minister David Cameron joined in the criticism of Mantel while others rushed to her defense.

In a speech this month, the writer had characterized the 31-year-old wife of Prince William as "a jointed doll on which certain rags were hung … a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own."

Mantel said that Kate, as a royal consort, "appeared to have been designed by committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished."

Mantel's speech, made at the British Museum and reprinted this week in the London Review of Books, was about the British public's complex relationship with royalty over the centuries.

The speech looked at the way the public and the press both glorify and destroy royals, from Anne Boleyn to Princess Diana, casting them in roles and stories in which "adulation can swing to persecution, within hours."

But for the Daily Mail, this became "an astonishing and venomous attack on the Duchess of Cambridge."

Online reaction was divided, with some defending Mantel's words as provocative and thoughtful and others calling them hurtful.

A novelist called Kate Middleton “a shop-window mannequin, with no personality.”

Associated Press

A novelist called Kate Middleton “a shop-window mannequin, with no personality.”

Novelist's biting criticism of Kate Middleton sets off uproar in Britain 02/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.