Recently a renowned British author, Hillary Mantel, called The Duchess of Cambridge - or Kate, as we refer to her on this side of the world - a “bland machine-made doll.” She went further with her rant to say that her impression of Kate, the future Queen of England, who is pregnant by the way (in case you’ve been living under a rock) is that of a ‘jointed doll with a plastic smile on which certain rags are hung whose only purpose is to give birth.”
Wow, someone clearly needs to switch to decaf. What inspired this vitriol is unknown and comes as a surprise from this well respected and usually eloquent writer. Who knew she was prolific in the art of bullying as well. The irony, Hillary Mantel, although very comfortable with slinging criticisms in the mainstream media, has never even met the Duchess of Cambridge. So her basis of this rant is purely superficial based on photos she sees in the press and on television. You know, like the rest of us. Funny enough, the moment I read about Ms. Mantel’s remarks I wondered what SHE in turn looked like. Cause something told me there was a bit of jealousy and self-dislike swilling around in there (I’ll let you go ahead and Google Ms. Mantel yourself).
When it comes to public figures I am more than keenly aware of the machine of which they are a part. Trust me, I get it; as much as they have their private lives, they are also in the public eye and should ready themselves for a certain amount of criticism and critique from the fray (ironically this also includes their peers. Go figure); some of it warranted (actions have reactions and so forth) and some of it not. But in regards to Hillary Mantel, it begs one to ask when mere critique crosses the line into the realm of bullying. Seemingly for no apparent reason other than to sell more books (a very big reason), Mantel purposely spoke out to the mainstream press and callously attacked a woman who by every account is a nice, down to earth woman (and what is happening to the sisterhood already, I mean geesh!) who is merely trying to adjust to being one of the most famous women in the world.
Yes, the Duchess is thin. Yes, she smiles a lot and doesn’t say much. But in her line of work (an employee of the monarchy, if you will), that is the job description. You do volunteer work, you go to openings of museums and non-profit organisations and you embrace children at orphanages (I do not say this with an ounce of jadedness as I thank god someone is going to orphanages and hugging children). It’s a bit like being Vice President really. On the contrary, would Hillary Mantel prefer that Kate was some beer swilling sloth whose belly hung over her jeans while she hurled curse words at Wills after a drunken night out at the pub?
As for Kate’s only purpose being the monarchy’s procreator, again, it is slightly part of the job description. Okay more than slightly. An heir is very important to the monarchy and Kate knew this signing up. Not to mention, she married a hot young man. The general course of things is to eventually see what a spawn will look like, no? As well, Kate is also not able to go and get a job at the local Starbucks to earn her own pocket money, let alone write the next great British novel alongside Ms. Mantel (although she could use a ghost name I suppose such as ‘Smokin Hot'). Not to mention, Ms. Mantel is also tapping into the ongoing and incendiary debate (but of course, books, books books) of motherhood vs. having a career. If Kate solely wants to sit back, eat shortbread and have kids, then that’s her god-given right.
So Ms. Mantel, eyes on your own page so to speak and stop being such a bully. You don’t hear Kate commenting on the latest curtain you wore to a book signing, now do you. But then again, she has far too much class to do such a thing.