British actress Keira Knightly has backtracked on her comments about the Duchess of Cambridge, saying she was “misrepresented” by the media.
Last week, several news outlets published an extract of an essay the Pirates of the Caribbean actress wrote for new book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies), in which she appeared to criticise Catherine for appearing in front of the world’s media just hours after giving birth.
“We stand and watch the TV screen. She [Kate] was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see,” Knightley wrote in her piece , titled ‘The Weaker Sex’.
“She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see. Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful, look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate.”
Kate did in fact appear in front of the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital with a full face of makeup and her hair perfectly blow dried after giving birth to Prince Louis, as she has done with all her children.
Such photo calls have become expected of the royal mothers in recent years, especially for those who are giving birth to the next generation of Kings and Queens. But while Kate has never spoken publicly about whether or not she wanted to climb out of bed just hours after giving birth to front the world’s media, she did her job with a smile on her face.
Knightly, who has starred in hit films The Imitation Game and Atonement, took offence to the unrealistic expectation Kate’s public show set for new mothers.
“Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful,” she wrote.
“Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”
Knightly’s essay, which she dedicated to her three-year-old daughter, described her own post-birth experience in graphic detail, reflecting on the incredible pain.
“My vagina split,” she wrote. “You came out with your eyes open. Arms up in the air. Screaming. They put you on to me, covered in blood, vernix, your head misshapen from the birth canal. Pulsating, gasping, screaming.
“You latched on to my breast immediately, hungrily, I remember the pain. The mouth clenched tight around my nipple, light sucking on and sucking out.
“I remember the s–t, the vomit, the blood, the stitches. I remember my battleground. Your battleground and life pulsating. Surviving. And I am the weaker sex? You are?”
The Oscar-nominated actress also took aim at the double standards in her industry, saying her male colleagues are rarely questioned for their bad behaviour, while she and other actresses are judged for tiny mistakes and indiscretions.