Which comes first, the woman or the princess?
Booker Prize winner and author of the incredible Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel has unleashed on the Duchess of Cambridge in spectacular style.
Mantel called the former Kate Middleton a “shop window mannequin”, a “machine-made” princess “designed by committee” and said she was “without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.”
It’s part attack on the Duchess, part attack on the Royal Machine. But the unflattering comparision with her late mother-in-law Diana could be interpreted as nothing less than personal.
“She appears precision-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture.”
Mantel goes too far but she does have a point.
It’s no co-incidence that any time the Duchess is captured in anything other than knee-length, demure smile, sensible shoe crispness the Palace unleashes its fury.
She may not be the “breeding panda” Mantel describes her as, but you do get the sense a crisis meeting would be called if she were overheard to snort with laughter or express an urgent need for the loo.
No one is that perfect, so unless Kate is the once exception to that rule, the polished, pristine exterior must be just that, an exterior.
No matter how powerful the machine around her, however, Diana proved it won’t succeed without a willing subject.
Perhaps Kate and the machine are in it together.
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