I don’t think Hilary Mantel will be getting a gong any time soon. I heard recorded extracts from this LRB lecture on Today this morning, and the full weight of the words is increased by their having been spoken aloud, to an audience. While one can understand the points Ms Mantel is making regarding the role of royal consorts, I cannot see that there was any need to make such spiteful personal comments against the Duchess, or the late mother of her husband. Royalist or republican, everyone should retain a little decorum.
Update: An interesting perspective of the content of Mantel’s speech here, although it lets her off the hook for her style a little too easily.