Kate Middleton has certainly seen her share of headlines lately, whether from her hospitalization for severe morning sickness or because she was snapped while baring her “baby bump” in a bikini recently. She is one of the most recognized faces in the world right now, yet she’s also a person we don’t know much about outside of her pedigree. Perhaps that’s why a lecture by novelist Hilary Mantel is garnering so much controversy.
Mantel, a Booker Prize-winning author, spoke about the Duchess before a gathering at the British Museum, saying she is entirely defined by what the royal family wants her to be: a good wife and mother to an heir.
“I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. She 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,” Mantel said.
Mantel’s opinion seems to be that Middleton was the perfect choice as wife for Prince William because she seems so bland and safe…unlike Princess Diana, who was as human and flawed as the rest of us. She went on to say, “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.”
Mantel’s lecture is catching a lot of heat today from Palace supporters, but some think the words are long overdue, and not because they are at Kate’s expense; rather, because the role of royal women over the years has been frightfully consistent.