Mantel’s piece is about violation. It is about intrusion, spectacle, about a kind of eerie return of the sacrificial monarch who has to die so the land can live (or gossip, ogle, and sneer). It is about the treatment of female royals as clothes-horses, lust objects, virgin queens and perfect mothers, and about how we are encouraged to view them as surface. It is about our perverse relationship with the monarchy in a country which is supposedly a democracy and the emptiness of it. What it patently and emphatically is not is an assault on Kate Middleton – and the cry that it is comes not from Clarence House but from the very media outlets Mantel is chastising.