It's the fate of any member of the royal family to not only have their lives documented minutely, but also to be compared, ruthlessly, endlessly with everyone that has come precedes them. Hilary Mantel is the latest critic to give her opinion about Duchess Kate Middleton, and like so many before, seems to have criticised her in distinct contrast to the country's darling, Princess Diana, sparking debate nationwide.
The Telegraph reports that Mantel was speaking at lecture on royal consorts, about which she isn't entirely unqualified to talk about, having written two books based around Oliver Cromwell and by proxy, therefore, about the Tudor royal family. Mantel referred to the Duchess as plastic and machine made.
"[Unlike] Marie Antoinette - smiling, gliding disaster much like Diana in another time, in another country - Kate Middleton seems to have been designed by a committee," the author of Booker Prize winning novels Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall said. "[She] 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... Machine-made! Precision made! So different from Diana, whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture." (Guardian)