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Novelist calls Royal Family ‘philistines’

Martin Amis, one of Britain’s most famous novelists, has reportedly passed a sarcastic remark on the Royal Family. The outspoken writer has called them philistines.

entertainment Updated: Apr 19, 2011 16:26 IST

Martin Amis, one of Britain’s most famous novelists, has reportedly passed a sarcastic remark on the Royal Family. He has called them philistines.

The author of bestsellers like The Rachel Papers and Money also portrayed the Queen as a woman who never listens and said Prince Charles has “a pig’s snore”.

“I’ve met the Queen, indeed, along with other writers on I don’t know which occasions anymore,” the Daily quoted Amis as telling French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

“The problem is that the Queen doesn’t listen to what you say to her because she is not supposed to understand the remarks that one makes to her,” he added.

Referring to his late father, the Lucky Jim author Kingsley Amis, Amis says: “Still, I allowed myself to say impetuously when she greeted me: ''You knighted my father.

“Her only reaction was to look far away, vaguely staring at a painting on the wall. That’s all. Another time, I had a lunch with the Duke of Edinburgh. He was surprised by my profession: Oh, you’re a writer.”

Martin Amis"We’ve had dinner together twice, a small gathering, four or five people. He was still married to Diana, but he never mentioned her name."

Amis was particularly critical of Prince Charles for his condemnation of Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie's book that led to a death threat being issued against him by Iran because it insulted Islam.

“(Charles is) charming, he has an extraordinary laugh, like a pig’s snore. I remember quite a memorable conversation with him about Salman Rushdie, just after the fatwa, in 1989. He was very anti-Rushdie. I asked why. (Charles) replied: “I’m sorry, but when someone insults the profound beliefs of a people.

“He always speaks like that, very knowledgeable. And he is very sensitive on religious issues, of any kind, because the King of England is supposed to protect the faith.

“I told him what I thought: that a novel is not a stance. It doesn’t insult anyone. It asserts nothing.

“A novel is a game, an activity of the spirit. And Rushdies book was targeted by Ayatollah Khomeini not so much because it was shocking, but because it gave new enthusiasm to the Islamic revolution.

Asked directly what he thought of the Royals in general, Amis replied: “They are philistines.”

“As for the British aristocracy, its pathetic. All that snobbery is ridiculous today,” he ad