Sunday 27 May 2018

Mantel: I'm not apologising for controversial Kate comments

Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel

Jennifer Cockerell

AWARD-WINNING novelist Hilary Mantel has defended describing Kate Middleton as a "shop-window mannequin" whose only purpose is to breed, saying: "I have absolutely nothing to apologise for."

The double Booker Prize winner made headlines last month when she criticised Kate as having no personality and appearing to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile, during a lecture at the British Museum.

But in an interview on BBC, she said her words had been taken out of context and had no regrets about her comments.

"My lecture and the subsequent essay was actually supportive of the royal family and when I used those words about the Duchess of Cambridge, I was describing the perception of her which has been set up in the tabloid press.

"My speech ended with a plea to the press and to the media in general. I said: 'Back off and don't be brutes. Don't do to this young woman what you did to Diana.'"

Mantel said she believes she had been set up. She told the radio programme: "I don't believe for one moment that there was any lack of clarity, after all, I have been practising my trade for a number of years now.

"It was a matter of taking the words completely out of context – twisting the context – and setting me up as a hate figure.

"I have absolutely no regrets – what I said was crystal clear."

During her lecture, Mantel also suggested "painfully thin" Kate was selected for her role of princess because she posed no risk of showing any character.

But she added last night: "I do think that the duchess is an intelligent young woman, who if she cares to read my essay will see that I meant nothing but good to her."

Irish Independent

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