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Duchess envy: Why do they snipe at young, pretty and popular Kate Middleton?

By Gail Walker

Published 13/03/2013

Pippa and Kate Middleton
Pippa and Kate Middleton
GRIMSBY, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Humberside Fire and Rescue Peaks Lane Fire Station on March 5, 2013 in Grimsby, England. (Photo Bruce Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newspix / Rex Features (1865919k) Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge on Diamond Jubilee Tour, Brisbane Airport, Australia - 19 Sep 2012 Prince William and his wife Kate have left Brisbane after brief stopover on their return from their South Pacific tour. Their silver jet touched down just after 11.45am local time. The Duchess, who was wearing an elegantly-simple floral summer dress, emerged and walked across the tarmac to the terminal. She appeared cheery and waved to onlookers. Prince William also smiled and waved to royal-watchers. The couple waited for about two hours as their plane refueled
The Royal Wedding...Queen Elizabeth II is flanked by Carole Middleton (left)and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall after the wedding ceremony Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton's clean, shiny locks.
In a April 29, 2011 photo, a sketch and a photo of the royal wedding gown worn by Kate Middleton is shown at Faviana fashion house in New York. The sketch will be used to create a knockoff design of the popular wedding dress. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the owners of a cocker spaniel puppy
RETRANSMITTED FOR BETTER QUALITY - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEPrince William and his wife Kate Middleton, who has been given the title of The Duchess of Cambridge, kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, following their wedding at Westminster Abbey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 29, 2011. See PA story WEDDING Lead. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Why such carping at the Duchess of Cambridge? Some kind of PC-spite against a pregnant woman? Jealousy? Spite?

Hilary Mantel has defended her attack, claiming the usual cheap politicians' garbage about misrepresentation by the Press while still maintaining her views. They included the opinion that Kate is "as painfully thin as anyone could wish ... without the risk of the emergence of character". "Designed by a committee", she has "a perfect plastic smile".

It's as well Kate is also gorgeous because were she overweight, plain and with a wonky eye, Mantel would be hounded out of town for simple abuse.

Mantel also describes a peculiar encounter she had with the Queen, where the author forensically passed her "eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner". Sadly, Mantel doesn't use her fictional gifts to imagine what HM may have made of the presence staring at her. Rather more meat than bone, I'd say.

And then along comes Sandi Toksvig. The chair of Radio 4's The News Quiz lamented that Kate's popularity was based on a good marriage and having children. She "can't think of a single opinion she (Middleton) holds – it's very Jane Austen".

That's Kate put in her box then. Very pass remarkable as we say in these parts. Still, it helps generate a few paragraphs in a Sunday profile.

Perhaps, Toksvig should take her critique of undeserved fame a bit deeper and consider why, to pick a subject at random, so disproportionate a percentage of graduates of the Cambridge Footlights end up with nice little media careers.

Or perhaps there's no mystery – maybe it's just an indisputable fact that the privileged alumni of the Glee club of an ancient university are naturally funny people whose talents call out for jobs at the BBC and C4 and profiles in the Observer. Funnier certainly than graduates of redbrick universities.

It might be useful if one of these heavyweights could discover the origin of the propensity among female intellectuals to kick seven bells out of any other female who just happens to be young, beautiful and popular. Surely we need their tremendous intelligence to uncover what on earth it could be?

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