It was a eloquent, beautifully-penned rallying cry, worthy of a double-Booker winner, about the media management of Kate, the nature of Royalty and voyeurism. Her lament is how Kate suffers at the hands of the media.

hilary mantel
Hilary Mantel has been criticised for a speech she gave on Kate Middleton

Here's 10 reasons why Hilary Mantel might be right, and why Kate might just agree with some of the things she wrote:


1. "In her first official portrait by Paul Emsley, unveiled in January, her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off. One critic said perceptively that she appeared ‘weary of being looked at’."
Never a truer word spoken. Kate declared herself "delighted" with the portrait, but it made her look more dowdy, more prim, more managed that she looks in real life.
In reality, the Duchess is a young, very pretty woman who must have been horrified to have been given such ageing jowls in the portrait, which bears almost no resemblance to how she looks. Mantel is expressing her sympathy for Kate, not disdain.

The portrait of Kate criticised by Mantel

2. "BBC News devoted a discussion to whether a pregnant woman could safely put on a turn of speed while wearing high heels. It is sad to think that intelligent people could devote themselves to this topic with earnest furrowings of the brow, but that’s what discourse about royals comes to: a compulsion to comment, a discourse empty of content, mouthed rather than spoken."
Most pictures of the Royals that appear in newspapers are taken only by officially appointed photographers, or the Press Association.
The public are desperate for the pictures, but the words are almost always utterly boring. So controversy, including over the wearing of heels, is invented. Kate must be nodding her head in agreement with Mantel.
3. "Pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage."
They joke about it in interviews. But both Prince William and Harry have made it clear they know their heritage is a guilded cage, and probably out of place in the modern world. Even when the couple were pictured in a cute cuddle watching the Olympics, William said he was "absolutely dreading" the cameras panning to them, calling it "very embarrassing."

kate cuddle
The cuddle captured on camera which embarrassed William

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