Kensington Palace has shared an uplifting video of Kate thanking brave members of the public for documenting their unique experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. The 38-year-old started the Hold Still project in May in order to capture the “spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation”.
The project was launched in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery – of which Kate is a patron – and received more than 31,000 entries.
Kate said: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted an image to Hold Still.
“I launched the project with the National Portrait Gallery back in May because I wanted to find a way to allow everyone to share their stories and experiences of lockdown.
“We have been thrilled by the response to the project and I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of the 31,000 people who submitted an image.”
Kate and a panel of judges had the unenviable tasks of narrowing down the entrants to a shortlist of 100 which went on display on billboards and posters around the country.
England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May, director of the National Portrait Gallery Nicholas Cullinan, writer and poet Lemn Sissay and photographer Maryam Wahid all helped with the decision-making process.
In the video Kate gave a snapshot of all the successful entrants – which included heroic NHS workers on the frontline and families working from home.
The Duchess explained she hoped to cover all the different aspects and emotions felt during the lockdown in March and April.
She added: “It was so hard to select the final 100 photographs, but we hope we have created a collective portrait of our nation reflecting on what others have experienced as well as our own journeys through this difficult time.
“It has been fantastic to see these portraits on billboards and outdoor poster sites across the country as part of our community exhibition.
“And I am hugely grateful to all our partners for helping us take the images back to the people and communities who took them.”
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She added: “For me the most powerful part of the project, is that it has shown just how much people and communities have come together and how important we all are to each other.
“Thank you so much for being part of Hold Still and for sharing your stories with the nation.”