Kate Middleton has unveiled the meaning behind some of the images selected for her community photography project at the National Portrait Gallery.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the Hold Still initiative during lockdown and asked the public to submit their images which captured the period for a digital exhibition.
Earlier this month, she was joined by a panel of five judges to select the best photos from more than 31,000 submitted for the nation-wide contest and said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the response and that it was ‘so hard’ to whittle the images down to a top 100.
Posting on the Kensington Royal Instagram page today, the Duchess shared a further glimpse into some of the chosen images, including a picture of an elderly couple clapping for the NHS together, and a five-year-old boy undergoing cancer treatment at home.
‘Clapping together for the NHS’ showed Gladys and Jack, a couple in their 90s who would come out every Thursday to applaud the health service.
Posting on the Kensington Royal Instagram page today, the Duchess of Cambridge shared a further glimpse into some of the chosen images for her Hold Still initiative during lockdown. Pictured, Gladys and Jack
‘Clapping together for the NHS’ showed Gladys and Jack, a couple in their 90s who would come out every Thursday to applaud the health service
The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the initiative during lockdown and asked the public to submit their images which captured the unprecedented period for the digital exhibition (pictured Kate during the judging last month)
The caption on the image read: ‘I took this photo of my next door neighbours, Gladys and Jack. Jack is in his 90s and they both came out every Thursday to clap for the NHS. They are an inspirational couple and still very much in love.
‘They encouraged others to come out and clap and waved to everyone in the street. They are lovely neighbours and I am lucky to live next door.’
Another was titled ‘Franck’s fight’, and showed a five-year-old boy having his hospital chemotherapy treatment at home during lockdown.
The caption read: ‘This shows our five year old son Franck, who is being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, having his hospital chemo at home during lockdown.
Another was titled ‘Franck’s fight’, and showed a five-year-old boy having his hospital chemotherapy treatment at home during lockdown
The caption read: ‘This shows our five year old son Franck, who is being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, having his hospital chemo at home during lockdown’
The third was called ‘Waving to the outside world’ and told the story of a teen who learned to use a camera while homeschooling during lockdown
‘The treatment is being administered by his CLIC Sargent nurses from the Children’s Oncology ward at Bristol Hospital.
‘Franck was the first patient to receive this new way of receiving treatment. The care they give him and us as a family is incredible and we can’t thank them enough.’
The third was called ‘Waving to the outside world’ and told the story of a teen who learned to use a camera while homeschooling during lockdown.
Last week, Kate revealed she had chosen an image featuring a Black Lives Matter protester and showed a woman holding a sign reading: ‘Be on the right side of history.’
Kate unveiled more images selected for her community photography project at the National Portrait Gallery – including a photograph of a Black Lives Matter protester (pictured)
Another image shared by the Duchess shows a girl with hands covering her mouth (pictured)
One of the snaps is a black and white image showing a man embracing his daughter during lockdown (pictured)
One of the snaps was a black and white image showing a man embracing his daughter, while another shows a child kissing their godmother through a window.
Meanwhile others featured a student holding her exam qualifications, and another black and white photograph showed a woman with a hand covering her mouth.
It comes after the National Portrait Gallery teased three further photos set to be in the exhibition earlier this month.
The gallery tweeted: ‘We are excited to reveal three more images from #HoldStill2020 community photography project.
Another shows a child kissing their godmother through a window during the global pandemic and the UK’s lockdown (pictured)
Meanwhile others featured a student holding her exam qualifications (pictured). Sharing the news online, Kensington Palace posted : ‘Tomorrow, on Monday 14th September, the final 100 portraits from Hold Still will be unveiled’
‘Spearheaded by the Duchess of Cambridge, the final 100 will feature in a digital exhibition, launching on Monday 14 September.’
It went on to reveal the images were Rainbow By Helen Pugh, ‘Keep smiling through. Just like you always do. ‘Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away’ By Jessica Sommerville, Empty by Julie Thiberg.
In one photograph, a young girl could be seen drawing a huge rainbow onto a window pane, while in another a boy was pushed around an empty supermarket.
Among the images selected by Kate and the judging panel was one shot of an elderly woman beaming through a window (pictured)
Another of the images chosen by the Duchess for her community photography project was a photograph of a young boy staring out at empty supermarket shelves (pictured)
Another image shows an elderly woman smiling through a window to the photographer on the other side.
The unveiling of the photographs comes after Kate appeared in a video alongside the judging panel and said ‘it’s been great’ to work on the project.
As the Duchess, who spearheaded the campaign and is a keen amateur photographer, discussed choosing the top 100 images, she joked: ‘It’s going to be so difficult to edit this down.’
Joining her was Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Maryam Wahid, photographer, to chose the top 100 entries.
The final of the three images to be unveiled was a snap of a little girl painting a rainbow on a window pane
This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14
The royal appeared in high spirits in the clip, asking the group of judges: ‘What’s going to happen next?’ as she laughed and joked with the panel.
Announcing that the top 100 images had been selected, the Duchess said: ‘I’ve been so overwhelmed by the public’s response to Hold Still, the quality of the images has been extraordinary, and the poignancy and the stories behind the images have been equally as moving as well.’
She continued: ‘So I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has entered and taken part. And a big thank you to my fellow judges. I hugely appreciate the time and dedication that they have shown towards the project.’
A snapshot of the Duchess on a video call with the other judges was also shared.
A mother sitting in her garden is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge
This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images
Meanwhile Lemn said the experience had been surprisingly emotional, revealing: ‘I didn’t expect the judging process to be so emotional.
‘As I studied the portraits in this most public crisis I was drawn into the most private moments. A nation through portraiture. Intimacy and inspiration, bravery and hope, determination and love and loss and laughter…
‘We have been in this together and in these portraits of private struggles and victories, the quiet moments, the tears and laughter are caught on camera for ever in Hold Still.’
She added that the collection of portraits ‘made her proud to be British’, saying: ‘It made me proud of my fellow citizen. It made me remember who we are and what we have been through. I didn’t really know until now.’
Kate (pictured in June 2019), who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the community contest during lockdown to capture the mood of the nation
The news comes after the Duchess teased the final 100 portraits had been chosen with an email screengrab, which was posted on Twitter
Last month, Kate used the initial of her first name Catherine to sign off an email to judges of her Hold Still portrait contest.
Taking to Kensington Royal Twitter account, Kate shared an email teasing the final 100 photographs picked to feature in the Hold Still exhibition – a campaign she spearheaded which aims to capture a snapshot of the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Alongside the caption: ‘An email was sent yesterday… Eyes#HoldStill2020,’ the contents of the email read: ‘Dear judges, I am thrilled we have chosen the final 100 portraits. I thought you might like to see the images all together so please find them attached.
‘I couldn’t have done it without you so thank you so much for your help. C.’
This moving image submitted to the project shows a hospital worker on the floor in despair. It’s titled Heartbroken Hero
Throughout lockdown the Duchess shared regular updates via Instagram, offering up some of her favourite shots and explanations on why they make such an impact.
Images included photos of exhausted healthcare workers and socially distant neighbours.
Other images submitted to the Hold Still project include one of a family dinner table where a little girl is trying to sing Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and another snap of children living next-door to each other playing musical instruments in front of their houses.
Kate previously told how she had been ‘struck’ by the many ‘incredible’ images seen already, ‘which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people – some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic’.
The relationship between a toddler and an elderly woman is captured in this image, ‘Social distancing
People from across the UK were invited to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times for the community project.
Participants were also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph.
Hold Still was completely free, open to all ages and abilities, with the exhibition set to focus on three core themes – ‘Helpers and Heroes’, ‘Your New Normal’ and ‘Acts of Kindness’.
Emergency services workers are celebrated in this image called Customised PPE, taken in the back of an ambulance
The idea was to create a unique photographic portrait of the people of our nation in lockdown as we ‘hold still’ for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.
The exhibition will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.
Hold Still will also act as a reminder of the significance of human connection in times of adversity, and that although we were physically apart, as a community and nation, we all faced and rose to the challenge together.
The top 100 photographs have been exhibited online from 14 September, with selected images shown in towns and cities across the country later in the year.