Hilary Mantel makes a good point

(545 Posts)
juneau Tue 19-Feb-13 08:15:37

She shouldn't have said it, since it's bitchy and uncalled for (and I actually find HM rather odd, if I'm honest), but after a good couple of years in the media spotlight I struggle to think of one thing the Duchess of Cambridge thinks or believes in. She never gives an opinion, she barely speaks, she just looks pretty and smiles.

bemybebe Tue 19-Feb-13 08:28:49

As you said - nasty and uncalled. That is it.

It's not her job to proffer an opinion on anything. I'm sure she has them, but her role dictates they have to remain private.

What ^^they said. She's not there to give opinions. leave the poor bloody woman alone.

GooseyLoosey Tue 19-Feb-13 08:46:52

I may or may not agree with what HM said. However, I thought her attack on someone who is not in a position to fight back was uncalled for and rather cruel. Kate is paid to be a figure-head and as such not to voice an opinion. To say that the "emotional incontinence" of Diana was preferable is ghoulish - why should Kate display her emotional traumas for the delectation of the world's media?

mablemurple Tue 19-Feb-13 08:48:08

One woman criticising another does not make either Hilary Mantel or the comments "bitchy", even if you don't agree with the comments.
Although I do agree.

Greythorne Tue 19-Feb-13 08:48:17

I think it's the paradox of her never being able to say anything / never having a voice on any issue / never speaking up even for charities (unlike Diana) versus her being held up as a role model / widely admired / loved. So people are just admiring her for her looks and pretty outfits. Which feels very old-fashioned. She seems to be something of an out dated idea.

Diana championed AIDS, land mines, the homeless whilst looking like a beautiful model.

Kate has got the model routine down, I would love her to get involved in some serious stuff too.

greenhill Tue 19-Feb-13 08:50:43

The Queen never gives an opinion either. She is in good company.

diddl Germany Tue 19-Feb-13 09:08:13

I saw that in the DM this morning.

Great PR for W&K!

Recently there was an article about Kate "resuming work with a vengence"

The comments were alone the lines of "she´s never worked..." what a disgrace they are..."

This morning it´s all "how dare that ugly old bat say that about our beautiful, perfect Kate"hmm

I also agree with HM tbh.

Before they married & her family were able/willing to keep her so that she could be on call for PW-up to them.

But since they´ve married, she hasn´t really done anything.

I understand that they didn´t want to throw her straight in as they did with Diana, but W&K had been together 10yrs-they must have been preparing her during that time!

FloatyBeatie Tue 19-Feb-13 09:17:43

Is the quote taken from Mantel's LRB article? Her take on the absence of opinions from the Duchess of Cambridge wouldn't be a personal comment about her, and certainly wouldn't be bitchy: it is a part of Mantel's very sophisticated and thought-provoking picture of what we "need" and expect from monarchy. Her view is that we are (metaphorically) cannibals in our relentless consumption of royal persons, that their symbolic function and our greedy encactment of the symbolism reduces them to their bodies.

plantsitter Tue 19-Feb-13 09:18:46

It's not a criticism of Kate herself is it? It's a criticism of the royals and the press coverage of the royals. She's saying it's outdated. And since she's been completely immersed in the Tudor period over the last few years, I can see why she's drawn the parallel.

plantsitter Tue 19-Feb-13 09:19:42

x post with Beatie's much more eloquent one.

juneau Tue 19-Feb-13 09:35:49

I think it's high time Kate got her hands dirty and did some real charity work. I realise her advisors have probably decided it's better for her to be seen as bland than controversial, but she's done pretty much nothing since she married William. The past few months she's been unwell, fair enough, but before that? She did a handful of public engagements and two overseas visits - not much in 18 months. She looks stunning, but I do think she needs to have some substance. A modern royal needs to be hard-working IMO.

SilentSplendidSun Tue 19-Feb-13 09:51:43

Plastic princess? Jointed doll? No personality? Doesnt sound like a criticism of press coverage. Seems like a pointed personal attack on Kate. Surprised really... Has success gone to her Hilary's head?

Does she expect royalty in this day and age to be like her beloved Tudors? Swashbuckling, arrogant, in your face and "off with yer head!"?? It doesnt work that way.

And why pick on just Kate or the royals? Any politician, actor or pop star, any one in the public eye, will not show their true personality. They bend over backwards to ensure only their best side is seen.

SilentSplendidSun Tue 19-Feb-13 09:53:27

But I do agree with the latter part of her "insight". Give Kate some time and she might grow into the role. She is still young., But not sure if I want her to be emotionally "incontinent" a la Diana. hmm

Seems a funny and painful thing to wish on anyone.

M25Meltdown Tue 19-Feb-13 09:57:13

Given that KM does not have the right to reply, this is nothing more than bullying.

FloatyBeatie Tue 19-Feb-13 10:06:45

I've looked at it now, and The Mail piece is just a nonsensical distortion of Mantel's article in the LRB, which you can read here and which certainly isn't an attack on Kate Middleton.

As usual, the Mail is just out to create the impression that women hate women. Please don't read it as anything remotely true to what Mantel wrote.

SilentSplendidSun Tue 19-Feb-13 10:14:51

Its not just the DM. Saw the same things being echoed in the Guardian article.

mablemurple Tue 19-Feb-13 10:58:10

Who says that she doesn't have the right to reply? Where is this enshrined in law? And even if she doesn't have a right to reply, does that make her beyond criticism? To say it is bullying is ridiculous.

kimorama Tue 19-Feb-13 11:24:17

Mantel is a great writer, so we must let her write. Some admire the princessy lifestyle ; others think it rather dated. (especially in a recession)

FloatyBeatie Tue 19-Feb-13 11:44:42

Well, the Guardian article has some of the same quotes, but it is an article about the Mail's interpretation of Mantel's article/speech and it doesn't endorse that interpretation. Plus, it quotes Mantel's spokesperson's exhortation to us to read what Mantel actually wrote.

Really astonishing how eager people are to generate a hostile misinterpretation of Mantel. It must be tough on her, being so thoughtful in a world where people so intensely relish their own stupidity.

coffeeinbed Tue 19-Feb-13 11:54:33

It's not on Kate as only Kate herself, it's on Kate being seen within the Royal Institution.
So yes, I do agree.

fubbsy Tue 19-Feb-13 11:58:02

When I read the Mantel article, I thought she was deconstructing the media image of Kate, IMO not a personal attack at all. I like that kind of high-brow stuff, but then I studied literature at university and do not read the DM.

mcmooncup Tue 19-Feb-13 11:59:13

I feel sorry for Kate.
She has been sold the biggest lie on earth. She cannot win in anything she does. Doomed 100%.
Of course she isn't allowed an opinion but this is not her fault. Young, naive when she bought into it...........sigh.

Chislemum Tue 19-Feb-13 12:14:07

I have read HM's full piece and would recommend others do too. Daily Mail does not summarise properly. This is not a personal attack at all but an interesting read.

Why would anyone feel sorry for KM? She has had a privileged upbringing and now has a life full of privilege. She was almost 30 when she got married to her boyfriend of almost 10 years - she knew what she was doing and I hope she will use her position to do a lot of good.

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