Author takes aim at Duchess Kate and Princess Diana
A combo image showing the wedding of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince Charles of Wales at St Paul Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981 and an image showing Kate Middleton standing at the altar with her husband to be Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Author Joan Smith makes sharp criticisms of both women in her new book, The Public Woman.
Photograph by: Stringer , AFP/Getty Images
A new book is taking aim at two of Britain’s most beloved royals — Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Joan Smith, an author and human rights activist, makes sharp criticisms of both women in her new book, The Public Woman, calling Kate “unambitious, uncontroversial and bland” and Diana a textbook case of “female narcissism.”
Princess Diana, Smith writes, “made catastrophic choices about men and showed not a glimmer of insight into why her relationships kept going wrong. Diana exemplifies a species of female narcissism which is repeatedly misread in popular culture, glamourizing stunted ambition — wanting fame and admiration — and erasing any requirement for personal responsibility.”
And, it’s not just Diana who suffered from stunted ambition, Smith says. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Smith finds plenty to say about the former Kate Middleton, too, writing: “By the age of 30, the new Duchess of Cambridge had done little since leaving university except play a supporting role to her boyfriend, marry him with great pomp and ceremony and get pregnant.”
In the “blistering attack,” the Daily Mail says Smith writes that Kate is no more accomplished than the attention-seeking wives and girlfriends (known in Britain as Wags) of high-profile soccer players.
“Unambitious, uncontroversial and bland, Kate Middleton was Queen Wag in everything but name.”
Smith uses her book to examine the advances of women in the public world — and what it has cost them.
“The argument of this book is that sexual harassment is one of the ways in which women are made to feel uncomfortable — outsiders and interlopers — in the workplace,” she writes. “It’s not always conscious but there’s an elision here of two ideas which has dire consequences for women: if a woman insists on her rightful place in the public world, some men will assume that she’s publicly available. I’ve written this book as a challenge to that notion.”
Smith’s analysis of the Duchess of Cambridge comes only a few months after Booker Prize-winner author Hilary Mantel made international headlines for her own public criticism of Kate, calling her a “shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own,” a pronouncement that was met with a chorus of disapproval, including that of Prime Minister David Cameron, who called Mantel “misguided.”