Under the headline, "Feeling the Xmas strain are we, Kate?", Mail columnist Sarah Vine suggested that Kate Middleton has every reason to "look shattered" after having had a busy week of Royal engagements alongside her duties as a mother.
In a withering critique, Vine wrote: "With her normally lustrous and bouncy hair scraped into an updo and her eyes puffy and lined, the 33-year-old Duchess of Cambridge looked absolutely shattered as she left Peter Jones, the Sloane Square department store.
She continued: "But if you take into account the week she’s just had, it’s hardly surprising," before listing the Duchess's three official engagements last week.
"It doesn't matter how much extra help you have," Vine wrote.
The Daily Mail's treatment of Kate drew prompt criticism for its unfairness, with people on Twitter highlighting the fact its story amounted to reporting a young mother looking tired.
And the Mail's placement of the paparazzi image so prominently was scorned.
But the apparent cynicism and mocking tone of Monday's article appeared to have the desired effect, with all-knowing Mail readers queuing up to have their say on the Duchess' lifestyle.
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The same photographs of Kate shopping in Chelsea were used by many of the main national newspapers, though perhaps not to suggest she looked stressed.
The Mirror speculated as to whether Prince George would receive a £20 toy helicopter.
While the Telegraph focussed on Kate carrying a wipe-clean table cloth, and what that might mean for her Christmas dinner plans.
Sarah Vine has previously drawn criticism for using her weekly column to liken feminists to Nazis, and to pillory Labour's shadow health secretary for liking hobnob biscuits.