Duchess Kate Middleton compared to 'shop window mannequin'

Kate Middleton

Double Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel has delivered a withering assessment of Kate, dismissing the Duchess of Cambridge as a personality-free "shop window mannequin," whose sole purpose is to deliver an heir to the throne.

She claimed that the pregnant Duchess is a bland, "machine-made" Princess, "designed by committee" who lacks Anne Boleyn's cleverness and Diana's ability to transform herself into an avenging wraith, the Independent reported.

Delivering a London Review of Books lecture on Royal Bodies at the British Museum, the author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the acclaimed novels which detail the failure of Henry VIII's wives to produce an heir, examines the prospects for the future queen consort.

On first impressions, Mantel believed Kate to be "a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore."

Prince William's wife-to-be was as "painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character," she said.

"She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture," she added.

The Duchess of Cambridge "appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished."

Mantel said that Kate, presumably, was designed to breed in some manners. She looks like a nicely brought up young lady, with 'please' and 'thank you' part of her vocabulary. But in her first official portrait since marrying William, painted by Paul Emsley and unveiled last month, her eyes are dead."

The author compared the Royals to pandas.

"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," she said.

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