The prime minister has waded into a row over Hilary Mantel's criticism of Kate Middleton, by telling the Man Booker winner she was "out of order".
Speaking during a trip to India, David Cameron said Mantel was a great writer but that her insults towards the Duchess of Cambridge were "a hurtful thing to say".
He added: "I think what she's said about Kate Middleton is completely misguided and completely wrong".
Ed Miliband also commented on the row, saying: "These are pretty offensive remarks, I don't agree with them. Kate Middleton is doing a brilliant job."
Mantel, who is the first woman to receive the Man Booker Prize twice, described the Duchess as a "shop window mannequin" with a "perfect plastic smile".
The author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies said: "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 ... her only point and purpose being to give birth."
She said of her first official portrait, unveiled last month, that "her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to b***** off".