I recently wrote on this site that, in reference to the recently published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, pregnant and on holiday, that '...our morbid fascination with this bizarre, ordinary family invests them with a sort of inverted dignity just by them doing and saying nothing of real consequence.' I didn't expect such a vivid illustration to present itself so soon.
If you stop and think for a moment, this whole thing isn't really about Kate Middleton. Sure, she's the focus of this round, but you're noticing it because she's ubiquitous enough that everyone feels they can give an opinion and because it involves talking about women's bodies and women's representations in the media.
In a chorus that has chirruped on since the dawn of time, the world united to shut Mantel up. Some of the nastier comments on her facebook page were painful in their venom. Tweets called her rude, and admonished her with patronising clichés like 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'.
Initial reaction from pretty much every female I know was horror, not so much that the Duchess of Cambridge can't so much as sneeze without someone capturing the moment for posterity, but that if you're going to be photographed in a bikini, you want a tiny bit of warning, and that's even if the picture is only being saved to someone's iPhone, rather than splashed across supermarket shelves the world over.