More ‘outrageous’ quotes by Mantel on Kate Middleton


3:04 pm - February 19th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

This morning the Daily Mail is outraged over a speech / article by the writer Hilary Mantel – describing it as an attack on the Duchess of Cambridge.

That in turn prompted an intervention from David Cameron (while he was in India!) even though it was clear he hadn’t read Mantel’s piece.

But since so many people are taking Hilary Mantel’s piece out of context, I thought why not do the same? Here are ten other quotes from that piece that other media organisations could get outraged over.

1) “It’s rather that I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung.”

2) “In those days [Kate Middleton] was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore.”

3) “this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth.”

4) “But Kate Middleton… appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen”

5) “…her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off”

6) “What does Kate read? It’s a question.”

7) “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.”

8) “I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not?”

9) “Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment.”

10) “Kate seems capable of going from perfect bride to perfect mother, with no messy deviation.”

[In case the point is not understood, this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek]

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Media ,News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Don’t you have a book to write?

Mr Cameron is just following the crowd in being offended on behalf of others. He hears some people are offended and assumes he should be offended too because being offended on behalf of others is so de rigueur. Being offended on behalf of others is the way the terminally dull think they can signal their moral superiority.

Cameron definitely, definitely didn’t read/hear the Mantel speech before commenting.

I wonder what the authors of the Daily Mail piece think about all the people who say they have misrepresented Mantel?

Mantel’s comments about the Duchess of Cambridge are cheap and snide. She could have, if she had wanted to, made a respectable case for republicanism. Instead, she chose to sneer pettily at the Duchess’s appearance, intellect and personality. Hilary Mantel may have the edge on the Duchess where intellect is concerned; but the Duchess seems a much nicer person than the bitchy Mantel, and she is easier on the eye than Mantel – who arguably would not be out of place in a Victorian freak show:
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/65952000/jpg/_65952709_mantel.jpg

WAGs, some author giving a speech and the Daily Mail.

I mean come on, this sounds like a Mock the Week punchline before anyone even mocks it.

Daily Mail is suspiciously like the identity politics section of the left sometimes

But since so many people are taking Hilary Mantel’s piece out of context, I thought why not do the same? Here are ten other quotes from that piece that other media organisations could get outraged over.

Do you think mysogynistic comments about the appearence of a pregnant women are appropriate?

‘You’ve written a blog post criticising someone (Cameron) for criticising someone (Mantell) for criticising someone (the Dutchess of something) and reprinted the choicest examples of Mantel’s sexist comments ‘tongue in cheek’

I mean, for fuck’s sake: this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth.

It’s hard to think of a more disgusting way to speak about wiomen than to treat them as machines for making babies.

I can see few commenters have read the piece. Give it a try: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n04/hilary-mantel/royal-bodies

“pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment.”

Well past their sell by date.

It is unfair to expect modern young people to put up with the restrictions on life that royalty demands… and now that we know that their blood is the same colour as ours, and that they suffer from morning sickness it is unfair to ask us to treat them as if they were different from and better than us.

They have become clowns in a circus. They trail their love life around; the younger ones get drunk and look like zombies; their husbands flirt with girls in bars. They have become a better spoken and less common version of Katie Price.

Only they cost us money.

If the Daily Mail had their way they’d bring back beheading and burning at the stake for even daring to utter the slightest thing against any member of the Royal Family.

@10 Dan

“If the Daily Mail had their way they’d bring back beheading and burning at the stake for even daring to utter the slightest thing against any member of the Royal Family.”

Except when its the Mail doing the dissing. Don’t forget their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Robert – did the writer of the piece you contacted get back in touch with you?

My my all the usual tory scum trolls are out in force on this one. The typical tory troll is not that bright. Look at Shatterface, and Tone.

Shatterface tries to play the mysogynistic card. Which is laughable on many levels.First , because Mantel is a woman. Second, because if you read the whole piece you will see that Mantel cleverly and intellectually makes the case that the real mysoginists are the Royal men, and Monarchy lackeys who see woman as nothing more than Royal virginas to breed from. She goes into the history of past Monarchs. Particularly Henry 8th who a bit of a problem with coming up with a male aire. So much so he had to murder and divorce many of his wives. (Mysoginists?)

But Mantel also is targeting the scum tabloid media. Which is why the Mail is having a hissy fit, and clutching it’s pears. She points out the hypocrisy of the media in demanding reverence to the Royal bride when you look at what the mysoginist tabloids did to Diana. Kate, by keeping her mouth firmly shut, and saying nothing is the tory ideal of the good bride. “Shut up and breed”

As for Call me dave, he has been fostering and pushing an aggressive Royal family sycophantic groveling. (He used the Queens golden anniversary as a chance to grovel like a good puppy) No criticism of the Royal family will be allowed in Dave’s toff run country. At the same time making sure that Charles constant political interference in public matters is kept secret, and hidden from the , er public. What a terrible example Dave is setting for his female children. But not surprising from a tory. “His message to his daughters is shut up and breed”. How typically tory.

But Miliband makes just as big a fool out of himself. Obviously fearful of being seen as not pro Monarchy. (Looks like Prince Charles’s political meddling at William and Kates wedding were in made sure there was no place for the 2 previous Labour Prime Ministers has worked wonders)

As for te tory trolls, they are the real stupid mysoginists.

This tweet? Nope.

Surprisingly few people have tweeted her about it. Daily Mail gets the blame. Guess she assumes she is unaccountable for her journalism.

15. Clunking Fist

Cherub @ 8, thanks for the link. Quite a read!

I’ve also read it, it comes across as more of a critique of the media, with whom even the royals can never win, and pity for the royal family for the sheer banality of a life trapped inside a gilded cage. The mysoginy is placed squarely where it belongs, in ‘newspapers’ like the daily fail, the scum etc…

It’s a good speech, it’s well argued and tightly written.

It’s also unpleasant about Catherine in very personal ways. People who argue that all the lines pulled out are really about the media’s interpretation of her role as a princess haven’t actually read or understood the speech.

Tim J @ 17: Exactly. Well said.

Sunny:

That well known Tory troll, Ed Milliband, has also voiced his views on the speech, telling the BBC:

“These are pretty offensive remarks, I don’t agree with them”.’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21502937

Like Cameron, Milliband probably hasn’t read the speech either; but like Cameron, he can see Mantel’s remarks are unpleasantly personal.

19. Silly Nurble

I agree with everything Hilary Mantel wrote, however, I think she lacked foresight in writing her piece in the way she did.

If she couldn’t forsee the shit that she’d receive from her piece then I hope for her sake that she doesn’t spend time in the bookies, because anyone who thought for just a moment would see how what she wrote could be easily used by some smart-arse at the Daily Bigot – as happened.

Most people here on LibCon have probably read the original piece, but, most people out there in the real world (and sorry folks, but LibCon is about as representative of the real world as The Daily Bigot is representative of reasonableness) haven’t and won’t read it. They’ll simply go with the Mail’s version of events before turning the page to read about Victoria Beckham’s jaunt around Paris.

Anyone who wants to make any case should always think carefully about how what they say could be used by the opposition. This isn’t about right or wrong, it’s just basic strategic thinking – just ask any lawyer.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 Silly Nurble

All true, except that far more people have now read the speech than would have done otherwise, and many sympathise with it. In terms of advancing her cause, it’s probably a win. She only lost if she was trying to win a popularity contest.

They are not personal, they are deeply impersonal, superficial and that’s the point. We don’t actually know Kate Middleton because her public persona is intentionally void. It’s not claiming she is actually a vacant, over polite clothes-hanger whose only meaning is gained by pushing out royal sprogs- its arguing that is how she appears as a necessity, for the glare of the cameras, for royal stage management. To think this is a personal attack is totally missing the point – there isn’t anything to be personal about. The dead eyes comment is actually slightly complimentary as it credits her with an inner life and self reflection regardless.

Anyone who see this differently, I imagine, must take the royals completely at face value. As if public and private were one and the same, and no artifice exists. Or maybe they just don’t quite understand the wry humour with which Mantel describe Kate literally as a doll, rather than explaining her point in a more straight forward manner Whichever it is, this whole thing is overblown and silly.

@ Tim

Well said, if she showed she has a brain with her own opinions, strengths, weaknesses etc that will only become leverage for the corporate, tabloid media to start the kind of hatchet jobs they are repeatedly guilty of – who is she married to after all?

The son of a woman who was repeatedly built up only to be ripped apart – time after time. That wasn’t really in the public interest, it was solely in the commercial interest of said media outlets. Eventually, Diana was literally hounded to death in pursuit of those profitable snaps wasn’t she?

Does anyone think she hasn’t been coached to reveal as little of her true self as possible?

Cherie Blair got more abuse.
Thats OK Shatterface eh because she is the wife of a politician.
It is so sad to see even now the toadying to the Royals is still stock in trade for our country.

When it was announced that Diana was to join the royal family, the Duke of Edinburgh is said to have given her his approval because she would ‘breed in some height’.
Now that is offensive.

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 23 P. Diddy

“Cherie Blair got more abuse.
Thats OK Shatterface eh because she is the wife of a politician.”

He also didn’t mention Mary M Wintergarden, a 17th-century fishmonger who was mocked in the street for having a silly voice.

Maybe that’s because neither she nor Cherie Blair are the topic of conversation here.

“It is so sad to see even now the toadying to the Royals is still stock in trade for our country.”

Either you or I has got a very inaccurate reading of Shatterface’s feelings on royalty.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Hilary Mantel slams the Duchess of Cambridge? « Ani Explains

    […] that aside, I finally found a rather hilariously scathing list of quotes on the whole situation at Liberal Conspiracy that had a link to The London Review of Books transcript of the whole piece from which the quotes […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.