In 2020, The Duchess of Cambridge chose a very artistic method to encourage the Nation during the first lockdown caused by the Coronavirus – ‘Hold Still’. The photography project spearheaded by the artistic Duchess was organized by the National Portrait Gallery – patronage of The Duchess of Cambridge. Hold still 2020 was one of the biggest highlights of the Royal work during COVID-19.
There were many requests to produce a book of the pictures and it seems NPG took notice of those requests. Now in very pleasant news, it came out that the project is being turned into a book – ‘Hold Still: A Portrait of our Nation in 2020‘ that will be available from May 07 at the National Portrait Gallery for £24.95 and also at Amazon. You can pre-order the book now. If you would like you can buy Posters from the exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery’s online shop for £15.
NPG describes the book as, “Featured here in this publication, the final 100 images present a unique and highly personal record of this extraordinary period in our history of people of all ages from across the nation. From virtual birthday parties, handmade rainbows, and community clapping to brave NHS staff, resilient keyworkers, and people dealing with illness, isolation, and loss. The images convey humor and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope – expressing and exploring both our shared and individual experiences“. The Duchess of Cambridge wrote a forward in the book.
‘These images remind us that we need each other more than we had ever realised.’
This is not the first time when The Duchess of Cambridge wrote a forward for a book. She first tried her hand in 2014 for ‘Living in the slipstream: Life as an RAF Wife’ when she reflected on her life as a wife of an RAF pilot. Next, we saw her writing for The GCHQ Puzzle Book spearheaded by her patronage Heads Together. Very recently, The Duchess of Cambridge wrote a foreword for a 2018 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
All the proceeds of the book will be split between the National Portrait Gallery and leading UK mental-health charity Mind – one of eight charities included in Heads Together. The Mind charity has been continuously supported by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The charity was part of the couple’s Our Frontline initiative in 2020 and received a £1.8m Covid Grant from The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The photography project, launched in May 2020, asked Brits to submit their pictures reflecting their lives during the pandemic lockdown. It received an overwhelming response with more than 31000 entries. 100 selected pictures from the submission were shown around the UK in a digital exhibition by the NPG. Head to the Digital gallery on the National Portrait Gallery’s website for the complete exhibition.
About the project and submission, The Duchess of Cambridge said in 2020, “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.” Read the whole story of the project here.
With the announcement, a new picture of The Duchess of Cambridge was also released. The Duchess herself is a keen photographer. Every year we see many of her shots marking the birthdays and other big days of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge. In the picture, we can see the Duchess of Cambridge, who is also a patron of The Royal Photographic Society, holding a camera.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s picture was taken by Matt Porteous at Cambridge Family’s Country residence Anmer Hall in Autumn 2020 and is part of the same set from which the family’s Christmas 2020 picture was released.
In the picture, The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing her Sézane ‘Marguerite’ White Ruffle Blouse that she debuted in 2019 during Cumbria’s visit.