British author attacks "plastic" princess Kate
By Clare Hutchison and Peter Griffiths
LONDON (Reuters) - One of Britain's most celebrated authors has launched a withering attack on the Duchess of Cambridge, the pregnant wife of Prince William, branding her a "shop-window mannequin" with a plastic smile whose only role in life is to breed.
Prime Minister David Cameron described award-winning writer Hilary Mantel as "misguided" after she likened the former Kate Middleton to a "machine made" doll, devoid of personality.
Her comments about the 31-year-old wife of William, second-in-line to the British throne, divided public opinion, with newspapers condemning Mantel as "venomous", "cruel" and "staggeringly rude".
Supporters said her words had been taken out of context from a long analysis of society's centuries-old obsession with the appearance and fertility of royal wives that ended with a plea to "back off and not be brutes" to them.
"I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung," Mantel said in a lecture at the British Museum in London earlier this month in which she spoke about her changing view of the princess.
"She was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions."
Speaking during a visit to India, Cameron said Mantel was wrong and that people should do more to encourage a young royal who is a "fantastic ambassador for Britain".
"She writes great books, but I think what she's said about Kate Middleton is completely misguided and completely wrong," Cameron told Sky News. Continued...