Hilary Mantel has claimed she's become a “hate figure,” since giving a shocking lecture that branded the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton a “shop window mannequin” and a “machine made” princess with “no personality” and “dead eyes”.
The twice Booker prize winner commented on the Duchess during a lecture on the royal wives of Henry VIII, the broader subject of which her winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, deals with.
The comments made by Mantel hit headlines around the world, with even the Prime Minister, David Cameron criticising the attack on the Duchess. Speaking to the BBC Mantel insists her words were “deliberately misunderstood.”
“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,” she claimed.
Insisting it had actually been in defence of the Duchess, she went on: “My speech ended with a plea to the press and 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.’
“My whole theme was the way we maltreat Royal persons, making them at once superhuman, and yet less than human.”
Commenting on the press reaction she claimed: “It was deliberately misunderstood. I don’t believe for a moment that there was any lack of clarity.
“I have been practising my trade for a number of years now and what I say I mean to say. If I introduce an ambiguity, it’s an ambiguity that’s meant to be there."
Adding: “It was a matter of taking the words completely out of context – twisting the context – and setting me up as a hate figure.”
Hilary Mantel A 'Hate Figure' Following Kate Middleton 'Plastic Princess' Attack
Kate Middleton speaks to a young fan during a visit to Grimsby earlier this week (WENN)
But despite the backlash Mantel stands by her comments and claimed she meant “nothing but good,” to the Duchess. Despite Mantel's insistence that she meant nothing offensive to the pregnant royal, it's difficult to see how remarks such as “machine made,” and “without risk” of “character” could have been misconstrued.
She said in the lecture: “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."
Even comparing her to her late mother in law: “She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture.”
At the time St James' Palace refused to comment on the lecture made by Mantel. The Duchess stepped out looking blooming and happy as she enters the half-way point of her pregnancy just a day after the comments hit the headlines, during a visit to an Action on Addiction centre in South London.
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