This evening, the Duchess of Cambridge hosted a reception to thank those who worked on the Hold Still community photography project she launched with the National Portrait Gallery in 2020.
Hold Still aimed to create a collective snapshot of the nation during the national lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2020, Kate appeared on British morning TV to launch the project, asking people of all ages and abilities from all four corners of the UK to send in photographs depicting life under lockdown.
The photographs were taken during lockdown and had to focus on one of three core themes: helpers and heroes, your new normal and acts of kindness.
The project received tens of thousands of submissions. In late summer, a judging panel whittled the entrants down to just 100 finalists. Below, four of the finalists: Sheidling Mila, Rainbow Reflection, Glass Kisses and Care Worker.
The final 100 images were displayed in a digital exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery’s website and later, they were taken to the streets of the UK. Here’s William and Kate viewing one of the posters displayed near London’s Waterloo Station.
In May 2021, exactly a year after she launched the project, Kate and the National Portrait Gallery published the final 100 photos into a book. Titled Hold Still: A Portrait of our Nation in 2020, the book went on to be a Sunday Times Bestseller.
To mark the book’s publication, Kate and The Book Fairies hid copies all around the UK for people to discover.
On Instagram this evening, Kate thanked the Hold Still team and remarked upon how long it had taken to bring everyone together in person. She also noted how the project was “orchestrated from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms”, referring to the government mandate to stay home and work from home to stop the spread of the virus. Of course, she also thanked the people who submitted their photographs too:
“The most special thanks must go to the thousands of people across the country who took time to share their experiences of lockdown. Without them, the project really would not have been possible.”The Duchess of Cambridge, Instagram
View all of our Hold Still coverage on this page.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in some way, and I launched Hold Still with the National Portrait Gallery to give everyone an opportunity to share their own stories, so that together we could create a collective portrait of our nation that would record our experiences during lockdown.The Duchess of Cambridge writing in The Sunday Times
You’d be forgiven for assuming this was a two-piece set, comprising of jacket and skirt—but no! It’s a dress. The midi dress features a jacket style bodice with a peplum and a two-tier chiffon pleated midi skirt.
The piece is exclusive to self-portrait-studio.com and costs £400. Some sizes need to be pre-ordered.
Self Portrait also sell a sleeveless version of the dress and a dress with the same skirt but a variation on the bodice—it has a statement pussybow and tiered top detailing. UPDATE: Matches.com also sell the dress in black for $500.
As you can see from the photographs above, Kate wore her hair up and accessorised with a pair of chandelier earrings and a gold necklace. Unfortunately, I do not know any further information about these two pieces.