Her style is followed by women across the globe and whatever she wears is sure to sell out within minutes.

Yet the Duchess of Cambridge has been dismissed as an "uneventful" dresser by leading author Margaret Atwood.

And most controversially, the 75-year-old said Kate hasn't lived up to the fashion icon reputation of her husband's late mother, Princess Diana.

Atwood said she thinks the duchess is cautious when it comes to clothes and is told what to wear by advisers.

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But she added she is right not to follow in Diana's footsteps.

"I think she dresses quite uneventfully," said the author of The Handmaid's Tale.

"I think 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 advisably, wouldn't you say?"

Atwood is just the latest high-profile female writer to apparently attack the duchess' image and public persona.

Double Booker Prize-winner and Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel has described Kate as a "shop window mannequin" and a "machine-made" princess who has been "designed by committee".

Diana, Princess of Wales has been a hard act to follow. Photo / Getty Images
Diana, Princess of Wales has been a hard act to follow. Photo / Getty Images

Meanwhile Sandi Toksvig has said the duchess doesn't have a "single opinion" of her own, and Joan Smith caused outrage by labelling Kate "unambitious and bland".

Speaking at a talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Atwood, who has also won the Booker for The Blind Assassin, admitted she judges women on the clothing they wear.

The Duchess of Cambridge is still a style icon for many - despite what Atwood thinks. Photo / Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge is still a style icon for many - despite what Atwood thinks. Photo / Getty Images

The novelist, who has been described as a feminist writer, said: "Let's pretend you're meeting a person for the first time, as you do when you meet a character in a book.

"What do I see? Your dress, I see your face of course, I focus on that. I see your earrings, I see your necklace, and those are all part of you. They are all part of the total image of who I've just met."

- Daily Mail