Kate Middleton's First Book Will Feature Lockdown Pictures to Tell "a Moving and Deeply Human Story of the Pandemic"

Kate Middleton's First Book Will Feature Lockdown Pictures to Tell "a Moving and Deeply Human Story of the Pandemic"

Her project hopes to highlight "tragedy" as well as "incredible acts of kindness" and "how together we adapted to a new normal."

Kate Middleton is looking forward to her newest project. The 39-year-old's Hold Still campaign is a collective community project to document the U.K. during the lockdown. Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020 will bring together the final 100 Hold Still portraits, as well as the stories that go along with the images, reports PEOPLE. The hardback book, called Hold Still, is on pre-order now and will be published on May 7 of this year, exactly one year after the photography project was first launched.



The photography initiative began in May 2020 and resulted in an online exhibition of some of the U.K's most touching images. "We've all been struck by some of the incredible images we've seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country," Kate said in a statement at the time. "Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable."




The images include a range of pictures dabbling in humor and creativity as well as tragedy and hope. From virtual birthday parties to brave hospital staff, resilient keyworkers, people visiting relatives in care homes, or communicating through windows with loved ones were among the many images. According to the National Portrait Gallery, over 31,000 submissions were received from across the country, from people between the ages of 4 and 75. A panel of judges selected 100 portraits, assessing the images on the emotions and experiences they conveyed.




Net proceeds from book sales will go to both the mental health charity Mind, which Kate and husband Prince William have long supported, as well as the National Portrait Gallery. "The coronavirus pandemic is a mental health emergency as well as a physical one. The devastating loss of life, the impact of lockdown, and any recession that lies ahead means there has never been a more crucial time to prioritize our mental health," added Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind. "Thank you to everyone who submitted a portrait to tell such a moving and deeply human story of the pandemic."


Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend an event hosted by Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2015 in Harrow, England. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool /Getty Images)


"The public response to Hold Still, which was spearheaded by our Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, has been phenomenal. The photographs submitted have helped to create a unifying and cathartic portrait of life in lockdown. We are honored to have been able to share a selection of these photographs with the nation, first through the online and community exhibition and now through this new publication," Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Director of The National Portrait Gallery, said in a statement. 




The Duchess is a keen photographer and an Honorary Member of the Royal Photographic Society. The mom-of-three often spends time taking beautiful pictures of her family, many of which are posted on the royal family's Instagram page. So it makes sense for the Duchess to spearhead a campaign that captures moving moments behind a lens. "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," Kate wrote in the book's foreword. "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," she continued. "I hope that the final 100 images showcase the experiences and emotions borne during this extraordinary moment in history, pay tribute to the awe-inspiring efforts of all who have worked to protect those around them, and provide a space for us to pause and reflect upon this unparalleled period."







Cover Images Source: Instagram/kensingtonroyal

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