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.
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If Wills and Kate want privacy, they should holiday in Tasmania like Princess Mary does, where law reform has blurred the lines between public and private.
Woman’s Day have published the controversial shots of Kate’s baby bump, taken on a beach in Mustique. Kate and Wills were at first outraged last year by a long lenses paparazzi who shot into their secluded villa in Southern France, capturing Kate topless.
As pointed out by the editor of Woman’s Day, Fiona Connolly, who reportedly paid $150,000 for the photos, Kate was on a public beach, albeit one that did cost $30,000 a week and bills itself as ‘the world’s finest private island retreat’.
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Sesame Street has a message for Kate Middleton: Get a real job, you bum.
That was the sage career advice – albeit imparted somewhat more diplomatically – dispensed to a young muppet when US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor dropped by the children’s show this week.
Upon learning of Abby Cadabby’s aspirations to be a princess, Sotomayor informed her that “is definitely not a career”, and urged her to direct her energy into studying to become a teacher, lawyer or scientist instead.
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As the Royal Wedding approaches, details are starting to emerge about the rules and regulations that surround an event of this magnitude.
In the past week information has been trickling through about exactly what is required of guests, beyond the traditional RSVP, and you have to wonder if it’s all actually worth it.
Recipients of an invite were greeted with more than just the time, date and dress code thanks to an accompanying 22 page guide detailing exactly how they should behave at a Royal function. What a buzz kill.
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The outpouring of saccharine dross about the upcoming Royal Marriage has thrown into sharp relief the spectacularly low expectations we have of Royals.
William and Kate are being feted as the saviours of the monarchy largely because they are not foolish, badly behaved muppets and are not an embarrassment to the institution and the country.
Indeed they seem like reasonably likeable, down-to-earth people considering their situation - keeping in mind that I am making a totally uninformed judgment here.
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The headless Anne Boleyn would struggle to get her point across, but any one of Henry VIII’s other five wives could sympathise with Kate Middleton in these last, frantic, nerve-inducing weeks before their “big day”.
The 16th century princesses would be right at home with all the fanfare and ever-expanding array of royal memorabilia, albeit with a few medieval modifications.
Lego-sized replicas of the royal couple would more likely have been in bronze or bashed copper, decorated with a bit of horsehair. And the royal Pez or Union Jack-embossed shortbread replaced by a boiled sweet. But not everything’s changed for the better.
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Has all this royal wedding talk made you think about Princess Diana? I know she was much-derided when she was alive – what with the nutty psychics, playing the paparazzi and preying on other women’s partners. But, come April 29, there’s going to be an empty seat at Westminster Abbey and, sappy as it sounds, I know that will make me sad.
Diana would have been 50 this year – a fabulous age to watch your first-born son marry the woman he loves. You can speculate all you like on how she might have stolen the show, but she was nothing if not an instinctive and affectionate mother.
What was fascinating about Diana was that both her life and death provoked a visceral response – not an intellectual one. Occasionally her actions made us think (her charity work for AIDS/landmines) but, more often, she made us feel. Struggling with the same problems as the rest of us – men, parenting, body image – she was like Julia Roberts’ character in Notting Hill: “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
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Anyone seeking linguistic confirmation of the weirdness that comes from associating with royalty should look no further than our very own dinki-di princess Mary Norgen-Vaaz, or whatever her surname became after she got hitched to that rich norseman.
Almost overnight, Mary went from being just another foxy bogan chick dancing around her handbag at Sydney’s Slip Inn, punching in the Bacardi Breezers and wooo-hoooing when Blur’s Song #2 came on, to sounding like some la-di-dah Queen Elizabeth impersonator. Not only did her perfectly normal Australian intonations make way for the plummy accent which the BBC defines as “received English”, she even adopted the tortured sentence structures of QEII. On the occasion that one becomes a member of the Danish Royal Family one is struck not only by one’s sense of duty but also one’s place in a long and proud tradition, one is.
Princess Mary is of course a perfectly nice person and her relationship with Prince Frederik could be described unimaginatively as a fairy tale. The same can be said of Prince William and Kate Middleton who are now doing their bit for magazine circulation and the sale of Franklin Mint commemorative plates by tying the knot.
He’s finally done it. After nine years together, approximately 76 fascinators and most of Will’s head of hair, the second in line to the throne has managed to get down on bended knee and give his long-time girlfriend one hell of a sparkler (12 carats in fact).
It propels Kate Middleton, long the fodder of the voracious paparazzi pack and Hello! devotees, well and truly into the global spotlight.
And it is today that the work really begins for Catherine Middleton. She faces perhaps the most daunting and dramatic transformations, to somehow deftly emerge from the shadow of one the most iconic, albeit neurotic, personalities of the 20th century.
It’s that time of the year again – April has become the crazy royal month in the media and this year is no exception.
Early the other morning, Kerri- Anne Kennelly’s producer called me to say the London media was buzzing with two stories; one was the ongoing speculation about William and Kate, the other about Andrew’s and Fergie’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie.
So I rushed into Channel Nine’s studio and shared my thoughts on both matters with Kerri-Anne’s huge audience.
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Dear Kate Middleton, Get a life. A job would be a good start.
Thing is, your boyfriend’s grandmother, the one with the penchant for corgis and who instills fear in the hearts of pheasants everywhere, has spelt out the riot act. Her Maj reckons that to be a future Queen of the people, you first need to be a working girl.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the UK’s Mail on Sunday has reported that “The Queen is keen that the monarchy should lead by example and that the princes and their girlfriends should all be seen to be hard workers.” This well-placed Palace peep went on to add “The Queen has made it known that she feels Kate should get involved with a charity, possibly an animal charity”. Labradors of the UK watch out.
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