Duchess of Cambridge uses Instagram to personally respond to applicants of photo project

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Kate has been leaving comments around Instagram. (Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge has been surprising photographers with personal comments on their Instagram posts as they enter her photography project.

Kate, 38, launched Hold Still in May, a project designed to capture moments across the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

The duchess used the official Kensington Royal Instagram to praise the applicants using the Hold Still hashtag, and reminding them to enter their pictures.

The duchess will be part of a team of judges picking 100 photos which cover subjects including ‘Your New Normal’, ‘Helpers and Heroes’ and ‘Acts of Kindness’.

The duchess posted a message to Kate Ainger, who shared a picture her son had taken as she cut her husband’s hair.

Kate wrote: “I love this! What a budding photographer!”

To Anna Mehta, who shared a picture of her son blowing a dandelion head, she wrote: “A perfect example of Hold Still... the chance to re-engage and value the simple things around us.”

She signed them off ‘C’ - standing for Catherine. While she is often referred to as Kate, the duchess is formally called Catherine.

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Kensington Palace has also shared some of the duchess’s favourite entries so far on their Instagram account showing the variety of images submitted.

One she picked out showed a midwife in PPE holding a newborn baby. Another showed a father and son baking bread at home.

Launching the project, which is open to anyone of any age, Kate said she wanted the portraits to represent all aspects of this time, from bravery and resilience, to human tragedy and hope.

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Kate said: “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. Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.

“Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

No professional experience or equipment is required and the judges will choose the 100 photos based on the emotion displayed.

The images will form a digital gallery, with some of them touring the UK later in the year.

The project runs until 18 June, with photographers asked to send their pictures via the National Portrait Gallery’s website.