It’s the “end game” for the British monarchy and it may not “outlast” Prince William, says two-time Booker Prize-winning author Dame Hilary Mantel.
The Wolf Hall trilogy writer, 68, said she doesn’t know how much longer the institution will go on, and predicted the Royal Family is entering its “last big era”.
Glossop-born Dame Hilary, who sparked a row in 2013 with comments about William’s then-pregnant wife Kate Middleton, said she wonders if the Queen is the “only person who really believes in the monarchy now”.
As for the future of the monarchy, she told the Telegraph: “I think it’s the end game. I don’t know how much longer the institution will go on. I’m not sure if it will outlast William. So I think it will be their last big era.
“I wish the Queen had felt able to abdicate, because Charles has had to wait such a long time.”
But the Queen sees it as a “sacred task” from which she cannot abdicate, while the public sees it as a job from which you should be able to step back and retire, she said.
Dame Hilary added: “I wonder if she’s the only person who really believes in the monarchy now, and I’m sure she believes with all her heart.”
She said the Queen is in a “lonely position” because she believes she cannot abdicate based on promises she made to God.
This, as many see the royals simply as entertainment.
In 2013, the author was criticised by Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband for comments she made about Kate during a lecture at the British Museum in central London.
Amid the controversy, she defended her remarks and said her speech had been quoted out of context.
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She would go on to tell the BBC the lecture was actually supportive of Kate and the royals, addressing a perception of the duchess that had been created by the tabloid press.
In that speech, Dame Hilary said she was once asked to name a famous person and choose a book to give to them.
She said she would choose to give the book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution to Kate.
She explained: “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.”
As she closed her speech, she brought up the press’ treatment of Princess Diana and said history “doesn’t have to repeat itself”, adding: “I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes.”