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View Full Version : "Royal Bodies" - Kate "Machine Made...Mannequin" - Hilary Mantel



C. Flower
23-02-2013, 01:18 PM
Hilary Mantel, British author, has delivered a devastating critique of the institution of royalty and its treatment in the media.

This is her lecture, "Royal Bodies" - parts of which have provoked a tabloid and political storm of criticism.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n04/hilary-mantel/royal-bodies

Brings mind to the cringe-inducing sycophancy of the Irish media and establishment in relation to the British royal family.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?

Reading from "Wolf Hall" - on earlier royals and then straight on to "the myth of the perception of ourselves...as English"

Man Booker prizewinner Hilary Mantel on Wolf Hall - YouTube

Extracts -


I had to come up with an answer, however, so I chose Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and I chose to give her a book published in 2006, by the cultural historian Caroline Weber; it’s called Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. It’s not that I think we’re heading for a revolution. It’s rather that I saw Kate becoming a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung. In those days she was a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore. These days she is a mother-to-be, and draped in another set of threadbare attributions. Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant. They will find that this young woman’s life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth.

....


Kate seems to have been selected for her role of princess because she was irreproachable: as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character. She appears precision-made, machine-made, so different from Diana whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture. Diana was capable of transforming herself from galumphing schoolgirl to ice queen, from wraith to Amazon. Kate seems capable of going from perfect bride to perfect mother, with no messy deviation. When her pregnancy became public she had been visiting her old school, and had picked up a hockey stick and run a few paces for the camera. BBC News devoted a discussion to whether a pregnant woman could safely put on a turn of speed while wearing high heels. It is sad to think that intelligent people could devote themselves to this topic with earnest furrowings of the brow, but that’s what discourse about royals comes to: a compulsion to comment, a discourse empty of content, mouthed rather than spoken. And in the same way one is compelled to look at them: to ask what they are made of, and is their substance the same as ours.

Is monarchy a suitable institution for a grown-up nation? I don’t know.



For all that Mantel shows how dehumanised and unnatural "royalty" is, she doesn't have any critique of the role it plays in inducing people to accept their places at the bottom of this hierarchical class and private property-based society, in which people are dehumanised by poverty, lack of access to work and education, or enslavement into mind deadening work, as happened in its most extreme form in the Magdalene laundries.

morticia
23-02-2013, 03:33 PM
Monarchy is a poisonous anachronism. I have nothing against any of the royals as individuals, but the fact that they exist as they are entrenches a status anxiety in Britain that is, for all our faults, lacking both here and in North America. People are far more likely to believe that their station in life is immutable in the UK, I find...and anyone who has gained or slipped a few social classes in their lifetimes seem to feel disconnected from their roots in a way that again doesn't apply here.

However, you ask the average Brit about abolishing the monarchy and it's, like, talk to the hand. 75-80% vociferously in favour of retention.

Well, there's one perennial solution to the stultified caste system. Age old. Emigration.

homer
23-02-2013, 03:48 PM
Bitchy stuff.

If the British like her, that is their privilege

Dr. FIVE
23-02-2013, 03:54 PM
Her Amazon sales are up 40%.


Nice of the press to prove her thesis though wasn't it. LRB Editor said he informed the press they had very good piece on Syria in the same issue but bo takers alas.

C. Flower
23-02-2013, 05:05 PM
Bitchy stuff.

If the British like her, that is their privilege

Like Mantel ?

Rumours of adoration of royalty by the British are much exaggerated. There have been plenty of times in which the mob has bayed for royal blood, or in which people have simply been weary of the nonsense.

Never forget they chopped the head off one of them in public, before the French got around to it.

C. Flower
23-02-2013, 05:12 PM
Support for royalty in the UK has dipped below 50% at times in the 20th century and in the 21st is up and down like a yo yo.


21st century
The monarchy currently remains secure in the United Kingdom with MORI Polls in the opening years of the 21st century showing support for retaining the monarchy stable at around 80% of people.[5] In 2005, during the time of the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, support for the monarchy dipped slightly with one poll showing that 65% of people would support keeping the monarchy if there were a referendum on the issue, with 22% saying they favoured a republic.[5] In 2009 an ICM poll, commission by the BBC, found that 76% of those asked wanted the monarchy to continue after the Queen, against 18% of people who said they would favour Britain becoming a republic and 6% who said they did not know.[6] In the wake of the 2009 MPs' expenses scandal, a poll of readers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers placed support for abolition of the monarchy at 54%, although only 3% saw it as a top priority.[7]

In February 2011, a YouGov poll put support for ending the monarchy after Queen Elizabeth's death at 13%, if Prince Charles becomes King.[8] However, an ICM poll shortly before the royal wedding suggested that 26% thought Britain would be better off without the monarchy, with only 37% "genuinely interested and excited" by the wedding.[9] In May 2012, in the lead up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a poll of 1,006 British adults found that 80% were in favour of the monarchy, with only 13% in favour of becoming a republic. This was thought to be a record high figure in favour of the monarchy.[10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_Kingdom

Simonsays
23-02-2013, 08:13 PM
Support for royalty in the UK has dipped below 50% at times in the 20th century and in the 21st is up and down like a yo yo.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_Kingdom

An inaccurate article - but then it is Wikipedia. The actual support for the monarchy is astonishingly stable. Even in the aftermath of the death of Diana the compatible data showed the monarchy had a comfortable majority over republicanism. At its highpoint some years ago it reached 94% support.

I remember Gallop saying some years ago saying that the average support worked out as 87%, a whopping average. Charles's popularity, for example, has almost always exceeded that of even the most popular elected figure in the UK. It is extraordinary.

C. Flower
23-02-2013, 08:34 PM
An inaccurate article - but then it is Wikipedia. The actual support for the monarchy is astonishingly stable. Even in the aftermath of the death of Diana the compatible data showed the monarchy had a comfortable majority over republicanism. At its highpoint some years ago it reached 94% support.

I remember Gallop saying some years ago saying that the average support worked out as 87%, a whopping average. Charles's popularity, for example, has almost always exceeded that of even the most popular elected figure in the UK. It is extraordinary.

Would you like attempt to provide some linked evidence of that ?

The British royal family is not adored universally in the UK in the way that people in the Irish media would like to believe.


To most Britons, the monarchy is like that unwanted furniture cluttering up the basement which they hope to clear up one day, but never get round to doing it.


The vast majority of Britons simply doesn't care but its indifference is tinged with a healthy dose of scepticism about the idea of inherited entitlement on which the monarchy rests. There may not be many who would be scrambling to join an anti-Palace republican revolt but there is a widespread and deep sense of unfairness over a system that allows people less clever than your ordinary Joe to lead a privileged life as a birthright.

The extravagance of Prince William's wedding grated with many at a time when millions of people are facing job losses and cuts to their benefits. The display of consumption seemed to many at odds with the government's austerity mantra and its claim that “we're all in it together.”

People were happy for the young couple and, yes, it was good to get an extra day off but why this pomp and pageantry in an era of austerity, they asked. “Why should the poor be always asked to sacrifice? Why can't the Queen take a cut?” asked one woman before hastening to add that she liked the Queen. “She is a good egg. But I don't like this whole royalty business.”


There are of course many people in the UK who detest the whole idea of monarchy.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/wheres-the-british-monarchy-headed/article2029706.ece

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/26/how-2012-turned-into-a-very-bad-year-for-prince-charles.html

TotalMayhem
23-02-2013, 09:21 PM
I'm pretty sure, Kate Middleton has read the job description, which is to stay pretty and produce an heir and a spare. Not really complicated, now, is it?

C. Flower
23-02-2013, 09:44 PM
I'm pretty sure, Kate Middleton has read the job description, which is to stay pretty and produce an heir and a spare. Not really complicated, now, is it?

It didn't work out too well for the last woman who tried it.

Frankie Lee
23-02-2013, 09:53 PM
Charles's popularity, for example, has almost always exceeded that of even the most popular elected figure in the UK. It is extraordinary.

Even after his close friendship with Jimmy Savile has been exposed? Bizarre situation.

Count Bobulescu
23-02-2013, 09:58 PM
An inaccurate article - but then it is Wikipedia.
Your disdain for Wikipedia is misplaced. Simply Google the the term “accuracy of Wikipedia”

TotalMayhem
24-02-2013, 04:08 AM
It didn't work out too well for the last woman who tried it.

She'd done the job and became surplus to requirement. Twasn't the first time...

C. Flower
24-02-2013, 07:58 AM
Your disdain for Wikipedia is misplaced. Simply Google the the term “accuracy of Wikipedia”

Agreed. I wrote some entries for a specialist encyclopedia once. Could have been pure gobbledegook for all the checking that was done of it.
Wikipedia is checked over and over again and the process is transparent.