In case you hadn’t heard all the noise being made across the pond, author Hilary Mantel gave a lecture at the British Museum earlier this month, sponsored by the London Review of Books. In it, Mantel discusses the centuries-long fascination with royal families, royal women, and — specifically — a royal female’s ability to bear heirs.
At one point, she also describes Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and pregnant wife of the heir to the British throne, as a “shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own.”
It was the quote heard ‘round the empire. Mantel’s line, along with several other sound bites lifted from the talk, have become flash points in the larger, ever-ongoing debate about how anyone should talk about the royals.