The Australian Prime Minister, who has named knitting and watching Game of Thrones as her favourite pastimes, agreed to a staged photo shoot and candid interview for The Australian Women’s Weekly.
Despite supporting Australia becoming a republic, Gillard said that knitting for the baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be a ‘cute project to work on’.
“In terms of knitting for Kate’s baby – I knit for babies, in part, because they are smaller projects,” Gillard said.
“I’ve got not that much time in my life. You can get them done and there’s a sense of satisfaction in having completed it.”
The photograph attracted widespread attention in Australia and triggered another skirmish in the nation’s ongoing gender wars.
Critics said the magazine story was a blatant ‘stunt’ and accused Gillard of lacking gravitas and re-enforcing clichéd stereotypes about women.
But supporters pointed out that the cycling-obsessed opposition leader, Tony Abbott, frequently appears publicly in body-fitting Lycra outfits.