Feminist academic Germaine Greer has launched a scathing attack on the royal family over their treatment of the Duchess of Cambridge, claiming that Prince William's wife has been pushed into becoming pregnant a second time around.
Kate Middleton, 32, and Prince William confirmed they were expecting their second baby in early September, two months after Prince George turned one. The couple were forced into announcing the news early as it was revealed that Kate was once again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness that the royal suffered during her first pregnancy and that has compelled her to cancel a series of public engagements this time around.
"The girl is too thin," Greer, 75, told Newsweek Europe. "Meanwhile, she is vomiting her guts up and shouldn’t have been made to go through all this again so soon. It’s not so much that she has to be a womb, but she has to be a mother. I would hope after this one she says, 'That’s it. No more.'"
The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William in a photo call to mark Prince George's 1st birthday in July
The Female Eunuch author went onto claim that Kate had been forced to suppress her interest in modern art by "the firm" - i.e. the royal family.
The Duchess achieved two As and a B at A-level before gaining a 2:1 degree in history of art at St Andrews University, where she first met William.
"Kate is a great deal more intelligent than the rest of the royals. She has been put in charge of William. She has a bastard of a job," said Greer. "Kate is not allowed to have an interest in modern culture, even in art – to collect, to attend openings. She is made to appear absolutely anodyne. She cannot do or say anything spontaneous. She has learned what she has to do and say and how to do and say it in the approved way. Spontaneity will get her in trouble."
Kate Middleton at a centenary event at the Tower of London in August
Greer also claimed that the royal, who lives in Kensington Palace quarters with William and baby George, is not allowed to decorate her surroundings.
"Kate is not even allowed to decorate her own houses," she said. "Even the wives of the American presidents get to do that. The whole thing is a mad anachronism. The ‘firm’ tell us that the first born will now become the monarch regardless of sex. Well, big fucking deal!"
It's not the first time Greer, one of the 20th Century's most prominent feminist theorists , has triggered controversy with her observations on women in the public eye.
In 2008, feminist commentators were aghast to hear her ridicule the dress Michelle Obama wore to her husband's presidential victory rally as a "butcher's apron" and a "geometrical hemorrhage".
She caused offence again in 2012 by making reference to the "big arse" of then Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.
Greer later attempted to defend her comments, telling an Australian TV channel, "Women are fat-arsed creatures. Go right ahead Julia, wave that arse!"
Photos: Rex Features