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Mantel defends Kate criticism

13:09 Fri Mar 8 2013
AAP
British novelist Hilary Mantel has told a UK radio show that her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge were taken out of context
British novelist Hilary Mantel has told a UK radio show that her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge were taken out of context (Getty)

Award-winning British novelist Hilary Mantel has defended describing the Duchess of Cambridge as a "shop-window mannequin" whose only purpose is to breed, saying: "I have absolutely nothing to apologise for".

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The double Booker Prize winner made headlines last month when she criticised Kate as having no personality and appearing to have been "gloss-varnished" with a perfect plastic smile, during a lecture at the British Museum.

But in an interview on BBC Radio 3's Night Waves program on Thursday, she said her words had been taken out of context and had no regrets about her comments.

"My lecture and the subsequent essay was actually supportive of the Royal Family and when I used those words about the Duchess of Cambridge, I was describing the perception of her which has been set up in the tabloid press," she said.

"My speech ended with a plea to the press and to the media in general. I said 'back off and don't be brutes. Don't do to this young woman what you did to Diana.'

"My whole theme was the way we maltreat royal persons, making them one superhuman, and yet less than human."

She told the radio program: "It was a matter of taking the words completely out of context - twisting the context - and setting me up as a hate figure.

"I have absolutely no regrets - what I said was crystal clear."