Sunday, 28th March 2021—The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) took to social media with a series of personally authored messages announcing the launch of a new photobook for the Hold Still project she spearheaded for the National Portrait Gallery last year.
In Twitter and Instagram posts, the Duchess explained that the book will feature the final 100 photographs from the project, including the pictures below:
The Duchess signed off the social media messages with her initial. Here’s what she wrote in full:
When we look back at the COVID-19 pandemic in decades to come, we will think of the challenges we all faced – the loved ones we lost, the extended isolation from our families and friends and the strain placed on our key workers. But we will also remember the positives: the incredible acts of kindness, the helpers and heroes who emerged from all walks of life, and how together we adapted to a new normal.
Through Hold Still, I wanted to use the power of photography to create a lasting record of what we were all experiencing – to capture individuals’ stories and document significant moments for families and communities as we lived through the pandemic. CDuchess of Cambridge, Instagram
With the National Portrait Gallery, Kate encouraged people of all ages and walks of life to submit their photographs to Hold Still. The project accepted entries over a three week period last summer. Photos had to incorporate one of three themes: helpers and heroes, your new normal or acts of kindness. The organisers sought photos that captured the spirit and feelings of the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s Kate talking about the project on ITV’s This Morning in May:
In August, the Hold Still judging panel whittled down over 30,000 submissions to just 100 photographs. These images were later exhibited on the NPG website. The final portraits were assessed on the emotions and experience they conveyed. (Below, screenshots of Kate talking to her fellow judges on Zoom!)
In November, Kate and the NPG took the final 100 photos to the streets of Great Britain for a community exhibition. Over 400 outdoor posters were displayed at 100+ locations in 80 towns and cities across the UK. William and Kate went to visit one of the posters at London’s Waterloo Station:
Titled Hold Still: A Portrait Of Our Nation in 2020, Kate explained that the book will serve as a “lasting record of what we were all experiencing” as we lived through the pandemic.
The photobook will launch on the 7th of May 2021 and will feature a foreword written by Kate. You can pre-order the book on the NPG’s website, here. Proceeds will be equally split to support the work of the National Portrait Gallery and Mind, the mental health charity.
The palace released a new portrait of Kate alongside the book announcement. In the picture, Kate can be seen wearing a dark red sweater and holding a Fujifilm camera.
The photo was taken by Matt Porteus. It looks like it’s from the same photoshoot at Amner Hall last autumn, used for the Cambridge’s family Christmas card:
Kate first publicly wore the piece in 2019, during a visit to Cumbria. After much deliberation about the shirt in the Kate community, an eBayer called CopyKate identified the piece.
Sadly, the piece is no longer available to buy. If you’re looking for something similar, try the shopping widget at the bottom of this page.
Kate’s gold earrings are by Daniella Draper. They’re the mini cupid hoops (£385). Kate debuted them (with added shamrock charms by the same designer) during a visit to Ireland in March 2020. The Duchess continues to wear the earrings fairly regularly.