Mantel duchess comments 'actually supportive'

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Booker prize winning author Hilary Mantel created a media furore last month with her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge.

Her comments, which included the view that the duchess had been reduced to a "shop window mannequin" by the media, and that her only purpose was to give birth, were condemned by figures including the prime minister.

Speaking on BBC Radio 3's Nightwaves programme last night, Ms Mantel told presenter Anne McElvoy that she had been reflecting a point of view commonly held by both the press and the public.

"My lecture and subsequent essay was actually supportive of the Royal Family. 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.

"My speech ended with a plea to the press and the media in general. I said 'back off and don't be brutes'."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 8 March 2013.

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