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.

seeker Tue 19-Feb-13 14:27:15

" The Queen is well known for being highly knowledgeable on all manner of subjects"

Yep. She would be my go-to person on Form,or the care and breeding of corgis. Oh, and notable Highland Games of the 20th Century.

squoosh Tue 19-Feb-13 14:30:32

grin

squoosh Tue 19-Feb-13 14:30:51

And Dubonnet, don't forget Dubonnet.

ComposHat Tue 19-Feb-13 14:31:31

... and how to mix a Dubonet and Gin now that her mother's kicked the bucket.

greenhill Tue 19-Feb-13 14:31:38

I imagine the Queen, D of C, etc have plenty of privately held opinions, they are just not in the public domain.

After all every time Prince C or the Duke of E, says anything they are ripped to shreds / overanalysed etc.

I think she just needs to choose some good charities and causes that she has a real passion for, and get more involved !

One of Diana's greatest skills was choosing her charities so well.

Kate needs a stronger theme in her choice of charities. If I was her I'd probably choose charities that support children and families. She might feel more inclined to when she has her baby ? She could support mothers with severe sickness in pregnancy for a start ...

Pagwatch Tue 19-Feb-13 14:36:06

I think she makes some interesting points and the media spin on it is ridiculous.

Having said that I think she would have to be an idiot not to anticipate that the juiciest quotes would be carved up like that and some of the things are astonishingly unpleasant.

Was it really beyond her to make the general points about the role without being quite so offensive about a woman who will have no ability to reply? Just a bit gratuitous really.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 14:38:56

What FloatyBeatie said. The Mail is misrepresenting Mantel's comments to a ridiculous degree.

What I think Mantel is missing, though, is the degree to which Kate is actively shaping her own bland image. I think Kate's choices about dress and image have made a statement about how she sees the role - her wedding dress was a promise to treat the job professionally, follow tradition and not cause trouble. (It was elegant but unoriginal and modest rather than sexy, in contrast to Diana's which was more of an assertion of individuality.)

ComposHat Tue 19-Feb-13 14:39:49

I often wondered how did/does she fill her days between expensive holidays? Especially before she married and had a tiny amount of 'public duties' to fulfil.

Ten years of not working, must have left her plenty of leisure time and opprotunities/money to pursue her interests.

Even the pointless inane stuff we know about other members of the Royal Family, we have no idea. Does she read? If so what boos, what type of music or TV programmes does she enjoy? What style of art does she like?

ZZZenAgain Tue 19-Feb-13 14:43:16

I actually don't find it all that important whether she has strong opinions or not and whether or not she expresses them. Maybe she just wants to be someone's wife. I meet a lot of women who are like that and they are perfectly nice but they are not going to wow you with their strongly held views and passionate interests.

seeker Tue 19-Feb-13 14:44:16

"After all every time Prince C or the Duke of E, says anything they are ripped to shreds / overanalysed etc."

To be fair, that isbecause when they say anything, it is usually either racist, sexist, bleedin' obvious or bonkers........

But ZZZ, she's in a great position to do some good championing the cause of some major charities. I'll be disappointed if she doesn't see that and step up to those roles in time. But she might well still be feeling pretty sick during her pregnancy ATM, so I'd definitely cut her some slack for a while !

Can't wait for a new royal baby later in the year ! grin When's it due ? thanks

ZZZenAgain Tue 19-Feb-13 14:49:54

she is in a good position to do that I agree, however she can simply donate a huge sum and that would be ok in my book too.

I actually have no idea when the baby is due.

greenhill Tue 19-Feb-13 14:52:05

YY seeker but they are only stating their own opinions, no matter how distasteful.

Can you imagine the PR difficulties if everyone really did think they had the right to free speech....?

Anyway, I just looked on Wiki the D of C's supported charities are two art based ones, a hospice for children and a centre for addiction.

cestlavielife Tue 19-Feb-13 14:55:53

you need to read the whole piece - not just this one line
www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n04/hilary-mantel/royal-bodies

BOF Tue 19-Feb-13 14:56:29

I'm so glad the original article was linked to. It's a really fascinating and thought-provoking piece of cultural commentary, which makes me want to read her books now.

polyhymnia Tue 19-Feb-13 14:57:35

I agree with Floatybeetle and Tunip.

I've read the whole speech - wonder if Dave Cameron had before he came out with his knee-jerk 'defence' of Kate? It's a complex and thoughtful reflection on the role of royalty. I recommend it.

I have little time for a woman who has been expensively educated and then does so little for ten years. A poor role model to young women, I think. HM's remarks about her - though, predictably taken out of context - were justifiable IMO. Nor do I think it is necessarily 'bitchy' for a woman to express views that are less than ecstatic about another woman.

I agree with her points about KM, however why did someone so anti-monarchy accept a CBE? I think that is hypocritical.

MerryMarigold Tue 19-Feb-13 15:00:17

I agree with whoever said that Kate has engineered her own bland image. Not sure if it's clever or not, or even how deliberate, but I don't agree that all Royal Females are very bland and about clothes - Fergie? Princess Margaret? Just for starters.

pofacedplot Tue 19-Feb-13 15:07:26

Sarah Ditum at the New Statesman is the only journalist to have written about this intelligently and without misogyny. here

And you'd do well to read the full essay

lrb

Bitchy? er, no.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 19-Feb-13 15:09:02

BOF It's a wonderful essay, and yes you should read Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

polyhymnia Tue 19-Feb-13 15:13:55

I'll second that - loved Wolf Hall - just finishing Bring Up the Bodies. Fantastic.

I want to be Hillary when I grow up. Thought I couldn't love here more after the books and the web chat, but I do. Fantastic speech IMO

EnjoyResponsibly Tue 19-Feb-13 15:22:41

The full article is a very interesting read. In fact I was gripped.

Bravo DM for scurrilous editing to suit your message.

HM please keep thinking and writing.

noddyholder Tue 19-Feb-13 15:23:05

The full essay is very good HM is right and speaks for many

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