Author Hilary Mantel, who died today aged aged 70, is known principally for her historical novels in which she examined the complex dynamics of the Tudor era.
When not writing from the perspective of King Henry VIII’s most trusted advisor, Thomas Cromwell, Ms Mantel hit headlines with her outspoken and often controversial views on today’s royals.
The Wolf Hall author told The Times last year that she admired the devotion to duty of then-Prince Charles and the late Queen. “I think they do it as well as anyone possibly could, take it as seriously as anyone could,” she said.
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But Ms Mantel, who undertook forensic research into the dramatic Tudor era to give her novels the ring of authenticity, didn’t see a long-term future for the Royal Family.
She said her “back of the envelope” calculation was that the British monarchy would probably survive for another two generations – predicting that Price William, when he eventually success his father King Charles III, will be the last British monarch, adding "poor Prince George".
“I think it’s a fair prediction,”she said, “but let’s say I wouldn’t put money on it.
“It’s very hard to understand the thinking behind the monarchy in the modern world when people are just seen as celebrities.”
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On the subject of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who represent the line where royalty meets celebrity she said: “I’ve tried to sort of keep out of the Meghan thing because I think it’s far too soon to have an opinion. And anyway, all of us commentators are part of the problem.
“I’d like us all to say less. And let them have a chance to find some resolution.”
Ms Mantel also drew criticism for her views on Kate Middleton, saying that she wasn’t allowed to have a personality of her own, and that first official portrait of the Duchess showed "the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off".
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Ms Mantel was one of the most successful novelists of her generation, selling over 2.5 million books with Wolf Hall (alone selling over a million copies.
Ms Mantel had a long struggle with her health, undergoing surgery for her endometriosis in her early twenties which left her “minus ovaries, womb, bits of bowel, bits of bladder”.
She reportedly died died “suddenly yet peacefully” surrounded by close family and friends, according to an announcement from her publishers HarperCollins.
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