David Cameron has described novelist Hilary Mantel's comments about the Duchess of Cambridge as "completely misguided and completely wrong".
The prime minister told the BBC: "What I've seen of Princess Kate at public events, at the Olympics and elsewhere is this is someone who's bright, who's engaging, who's a fantastic ambassador for Britain. We should be proud of that, rather than make these rather misguided remarks."
"I think she writes great books, but I think what she's said about Kate Middleton is completely misguided and completely wrong," he said.
Cameron, who is on a trip to India, was responding to a row back home over Booker Prize winner Mantel's description of the Duchess as a "shop window mannequin" with a "plastic smile".
However much of the outrage at Mantel's comments appear to be based on the reporting of the speech rather than its full text.
The author's defenders argue that she actually gave sympathetic analysis of the duchess and was pointing out that the royals become victims of their predicament rather than launching a personal attack.