Hilary Mantel's piece contains some harsh words about the Duchess of Cambridge, but lost in the media furore over phrases like "plastic princess" and "shop-window mannequin", was the meat of Mantel's speech.

It was an eloquent, beautifully-penned rallying cry, worthy of a double-Booker winner, about the media management of Kate, the nature of Royalty and voyeurism. Her lament is how Kate suffers at the hands of the media.

hilary mantel

Hilary Mantel has been criticised for a speech she gave on Kate Middleton

Here's 10 reasons why Hilary Mantel might be right, and why Kate might just agree with some of the things she wrote:

READ THE FULL PIECE HERE

1. "In her first official portrait by Paul Emsley, unveiled in January, her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off. One critic said perceptively that she appeared ‘weary of being looked at’."

Never a truer word spoken. Kate declared herself "delighted" with the portrait, but it made her look more dowdy, more prim, more managed than she looks in real life.

In reality, the Duchess is a young, very pretty woman who must have been horrified to have been given such ageing jowls in the portrait, which bears almost no resemblance to how she looks. Mantel is expressing her sympathy for Kate, not disdain.

portrait

The portrait of Kate criticised by Mantel

2. "BBC News devoted a discussion to whether a pregnant woman could safely put on a turn of speed while wearing high heels. It is sad to think that intelligent people could devote themselves to this topic with earnest furrowings of the brow, but that’s what discourse about royals comes to: a compulsion to comment, a discourse empty of content, mouthed rather than spoken."

Most pictures of the Royals that appear in newspapers are taken only by officially appointed photographers, or the Press Association.

The public are desperate for the pictures, but the words are almost always utterly boring. So controversy, including over the wearing of heels, is invented. Kate must be nodding her head in agreement with Mantel.

3. "Pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage."

They joke about it in interviews. But both Prince William and Harry have made it clear they know their heritage is a guilded cage, and probably out of place in the modern world. Even when the couple were pictured in a cute cuddle watching the Olympics, William said he was "absolutely dreading" the cameras panning to them, calling it "very embarrassing."

kate cuddle

The cuddle captured on camera which embarrassed William

4. "You see that your life is a charade, that the scenery is cardboard, that the paint is peeling, the red carpet fraying, and if you linger you will notice the oily devotion fade from the faces of your subjects, and you will see their retreating backs as they turn up their collars and button their coats and walk away into real life."

The old saying goes that the Queen thinks the world smells of fresh paint. Mantel astutely points out however much the Royals put on a show for the country, the country also puts on a show for them.

5. "Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant. They will find that this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth."

No matter what Kate was set to achieve in life, well-educated with a good degree, Royal brides are still "the vagina", Mantel says. This is not a judgment on Kate, but on the public and media on "Royal Baby Watch".

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

Kate has been stage-managed, her appearance regulated, her background checked. Lessons have been learnt, by Royal aides, from the Diana era. Again, Mantel is not placing the blame on Kate, but noting her "appearance" in the eyes of the public, the character the real woman inhabits.

7. Describing a visit to Buckingham Palace, Mantel describes "The Queen passed close to me and I stared at her. I am ashamed now to say it but I passed my eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner, my gaze sharp enough to pick the meat off her bones. Her Majesty turned and looked back at me, as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder; and for a split second her face expressed not anger but hurt bewilderment."

There is searing honesty here, Mantel admits the voyeurism that most feel encountering the Royal family. Wanting to watch, but embarrassed to talk to them. For a young modern couple like Kate and William, the embarrassment is excruciating.

8. "Adulation can swing to persecution, within hours, within the same press report: this is what happened to Prince Harry recently."

The current third-in-line to the throne would be in firm agreement, and said much the same himself in a recent interview after his tour of Afghanistan.

prince harry

Harry has spoken about the escape that being in Afghanistan gives him

9. "It may be that the whole phenomenon of monarchy is irrational, but that doesn’t mean that when we look at it we should behave like spectators at Bedlam."

Like maniacs in Bedlam, the Royals are placed in ridiculous positions, and people pay, through newspapers and glossy magazines, to gawp, as they would at a Victorian madhouse.

10. "I’m not asking for censorship. I’m not asking for pious humbug and smarmy reverence. I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes. Get your pink frilly frocks out, zhuzh up your platinum locks. We are all Barbara Cartland now. The pen is in our hands. A happy ending is ours to write."

Mantel herself has now felt the full force of what she used her powerful speech to argue against, a witch hunt in the popular press.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, South London following her visit.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the kitchens at Hope House residential centre, run by Action on Addiction for recovering addicts in Clapham, South London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction as she arrives at addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, South London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, South London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge as she arrives at addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, South London.

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    The Duchess of Cambridge as she arrives at addiction charity's Hope House treatment centre in Clapham, South London.

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    File photo dated 29/01/13 of award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel who has attacked the Duchess of Cambridge as a "shop-window mannequin" with no personality, whose only purpose is to breed.

  • Hilary Mantel

    FILE - The Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel poses for a photograph in London in this file photo dated Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009. Mantel is widely criticized in the media Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013, for her "venomous attack" on the former Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, for published comments about the British public’s complex relationship with royalty quoting Mantel saying the princess is "a jointed doll on which certain rags were hung", and said she appeared to be designed by committee with a perfect plastic smile. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

  • Author and winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award for 2012 Hilary Mantel poses for photographers at the Costa Book awards ceremony in London, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Mantel won with her book entitled 'Bring Up The Bodies' .(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Costa Book Of The Year Awards

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 29: Hilary Mantel attends the Costa Book of the Year awards at Quaglino's on January 29, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Man Booker Prize - 2012

    File photo dated 16/10/2012 of Hilary Mantel, who said she was left "weak at the knees" after becoming the first British writer to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction twice after her novel Bring up the Bodies was named the best book of the year.

  • British author Hilary Mantel is pictured

    British author Hilary Mantel is pictured with her historical fiction novel 'Wolf Hall' after being awarded the 2009 Man Booker prize at the Guildhall in London on October 6, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Ben Stansall (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Man Booker Prize - 2012

    Hilary Mantel wins the Man Booker Prize for her novel 'Bring Up the Bodies' at the Guildhall, London.

  • Man Booker Prize - 2012

    Hilary Mantel wins the Man Booker Prize for her novel 'Bring Up the Bodies' at the Guildhall, London.

  • Orange Prize For Fiction 2006

    LONDON - JUNE 06: Shortlisted Author Hilary Mantel poses with her book 'Beyond Black' at the Orange Prize For Fiction at Royal Courts Of Justice on June 6, 2006 in London, England. The prestigious awards celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • Orange Prize For Fiction 2006

    LONDON - JUNE 06: (L-R) Shortlisted Authors Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith, Carrie Tiffany and Zadie Smith pose at the Orange Prize For Fiction at Royal Courts Of Justice on June 6, 2006 in London, England. The prestigious awards celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-LITERATURE-AWARD

    British author Hilary Mantel, writer of 'Bring Up The Bodies' poses for photographers as she arrives for the 2013 Costa Book Awards in London on January 29, 2013. The Costa Book Awards is a literary prize that recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland in five categories, with one of the category winners selected as Costa Book of the Year. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)