Tuesday, March 3, 2020 2:21 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Two-time Booker Prize-winning writer, Hilary Mantel, has lambasted the British public for being racist towards Prince Harry’s wife, Megan Markle. The writer of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies disclosed this in an interview with the BBC and reported by Daily Mail Online . According to her, racism is the major reason for the criticism aimed at the Duchess of Sussex. The 67-year old author said while Meghan had faced scrutiny since her marriage to Prince Harry, “I hesitate to call her a victim.”
‘But I think there has been an element of racism in the invective against her. I think it’s more deeply embedded in people’s consciousness than any of us are willing to admit.’
Mantel, speaking ahead of the publication of the third installment of her Tudor trilogy, The Mirror & The Light, for which she hopes to receive an unprecedented third Booker Prize, compared scrutiny of the duchess to that faced by royal women in the 16th century.
‘There’s an intense concentration on the bodies of royal women. If anyone doubts that, we only have to look at what happens when our royal ladies are pregnant and when they give birth. They are perceived as public property in the same way that Tudor women were perceived.’ adding that in Meghan’s case that included her skin colour’
Mantel said the treatment of royal women was “sad” and “objectionable”, because ‘it is simply turning the individual woman back into a breeder’.
Asked about the duchess, she said that scrutiny of royal bodies ‘does include the skin’.
In 2016, Prince Harry said media coverage of Meghan had ‘racial undertones’ and novelist Sir Philip Pullman has also claimed Meghan ‘is attacked by the British press because she’s black’. In 2013, Mantel came under fire for likening the Duchess of Cambridge to a ‘shop window mannequin’ who would become a ‘jointed doll on which certain rags are hung’.
The comments were condemned by then Prime Minister David Cameron as ‘completely misguided’.
Controversy is Mantel’s forte. In September 2014, in an interview published in The Guardian, she confessed to fantasizing about the murder of Margaret Thatcher in 1983, and fictionalized the event in a short story called “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: 6 August 1983”. In the interview she expands on her hatred for the former British prime minister. Allies of Thatcher called for a police investigation, to which Mantel sarcastically responded, “bringing in the police for an investigation was beyond anything I could have planned or hoped for, because it immediately exposes them to ridicule”.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Mantel stated, “I think that nowadays the Catholic Church is not an institution for respectable people, adding, “When I was a child I wondered why priests and nuns were not nicer people. I thought that they were amongst the worst people I knew.” These statements, as well as the themes explored in her earlier novel Fludd, have led some to question her work in Wolf Hall, with Bishop Mark O’Toole noting: “There is an anti-Catholic thread there, there is no doubt about it. Wolf Hall is not neutral.”
Mantel, born on 6 July, 1952, is the first woman to be awarded the Booker Prize twice first for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and the second for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second installment of the Cromwell trilogy. By winning the highly coveted prize twice, she followed in the footsteps of J. M. Coetzee, Peter Carey and J. G. Farrell. She is married to the retired geologist Gerald McEwen. They live in Budleigh Salterton.
Read real reason Prince Harry left royal life here