Margaret Atwood has an announcement to make. She has no problem with Kate Middleton's fashion sense.
An offhand comment Ms. Atwood recently made about the Duchess of Cambridge was caught on video and has caused quite a stir among royal watchers in the United Kingdom and Canada.
During an event at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the subject of clothing and literature, Ms. Atwood said Ms. Middleton "dresses quite uneventfully" and that "she's watching her back. I think she probably has people who pretty much tell her what is appropriate for her to wear. I don't think she's become the fashion plate that Diana was, and I think she's probably doing that advisedly, wouldn't you say?"
Royal biographer (and editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine) Ingrid Seward, lept to Kate's defence, telling the Daily Express that the Duchess has less flexibility in her wardrobe than people would think.
"You're a bit limited if you're a member of the Royal Family," she said. "You've got to dress as if you're going to a wedding every day," she said.
Calling the situation "so idiotic it's funny", Ms. Atwood sent the following response to the Globe and Mail in an effort to douse the growing scandal.
"The elderly Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood (75) caused a fracas recently by mentioning that characters in novels wear clothes, and so do actual people (including members of the royal family), and that other people then look at their clothes with interest and make assessments based on them. 'That's where she goes wrong!' fulminated Amanda R. Struthers of the Prelapsarian Royalist Society. 'Talking about clothes in the first place! Clothes cause so many problems, including wars, pollution, water-depletion, and envy! How dare she judge those of us who don't wear them except when bullied by the law into doing so? As for the royal family, we've been begging them for years to set a good example for health and happiness by removing their garments on a significant and televised public ceremony. An all-nude Opening of Parliament, just one –– is that too much to ask?'"
"Let's hope people soon find something more earth-shattering to think about," she adds. "Though it proves my point: people ARE jumpy about clothes."