The British monarchy is entering its "last era" and may not "outlast" Prince William, according to Dame Hilary Mantel.
The two-time Booker prize-winning writer, author of the Wolf Hall trilogy, says she doesn't believe the royal institution will last much longer and believes the royal family is now entering its "last big era".
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the 68-year-old British author said she thinks "it's the end game".
"I don't know how much longer the institution will go on. I'm not sure if it will outlast William. So I think it will be their last big era," she said.
"I wish the Queen had felt able to abdicate, because Charles has had to wait such a long time," Mantel adds.
"I wonder if she's the only person who really believes in the monarchy now, and I'm sure she believes with all her heart."
The author, who caused uproar in 2013 with her comments about then-pregnant Kate Middleton, says the Queen sees her job as "a sacred task" and is now "in a lonely position".
However, Mantel believes a lot of people see the royals purely as entertainment.
'[The Queen] believes that she cannot cease to be a monarch – she made those promises to God. It's such a cliche to say, but what a lonely position to be in. It's a conflict, because most of the world sees the royal family as a branch of show business. And I'm sure that is very far from the Queen's own thinking," Mantel told the Telegraph, in an interview conducted via Zoom just a few days before the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The author was previously criticised by then-Prime Minister David Cameron when, in 2013, she alluded to Kate Middleton in a speech at the British Museum.
Dame Hilary Mantel, during the lecture at the museum, was asked to name a famous person and choose a book to gift to them.
She said she would choose to give the book "Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution" to Kate.
She later explained that the comments were taken out of context.
"It's not that I think we're heading for a revolution. 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.
"Once she gets over being sick, the press will find that she is radiant," she added.
"They will find that this young woman's life until now was nothing, her only point and purpose being to give birth."