Duchess of Cambridge issues rare video plea asking for more photo project entries for 'lasting illustration' of lockdown

·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

The Duchess of Cambridge has made a rare video plea as she encourages more people to enter her photography project and capture “a lasting illustration” of Britain in the pandemic.

Kate is running a project in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery called Hold Still, which aims to use amateur photography to show what life was like in Britain during lockdown.

The duchess, 38, also shared some of her favourite new entries for the project as she released her message on Thursday.

In the message, the duchess said: “There have been so many amazing entries to Hold Still over the last few weeks. From families up and down the country showing how they are adapting to life during lockdown, through to some of the most amazing NHS and social care staff who are putting their lives on the line to save the lives of others.

“But it isn’t too late to take part. So please take a moment to capture what life is like for you, because together I hope that we can build a lasting illustration of just how our country pulled together during the pandemic.”

Kate is a keen amateur photographer and will be on the judging panel for the project. The team will choose 100 photos which will become a digital gallery and eventually go on a UK tour.

She has been keen to stress no professional equipment or experience is needed for entrants.

Kensington Palace said there had already been 12,000 entries to the project, and the deadline is in one week.

Kate delighted photographers earlier this month when she commented personally on entries which had been posted online.

Alongside the video, she released some of her favourite entries.

This image shows a socially distanced music session between neighbours. (Kensington Palace)
Band practise at a distance by Becky Wickes. (Kensington Palace)
Two NHS staff take a break during a busy shift. (Kensington Palace)
Sleeping Colleagues Unmasked by Jane Roe. (Kensington Palace)

One image shared by the duchess is called Sleeping Colleagues Unmasked and shows two nurses taking a break from working in a COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU), asleep on a sofa in a hospital in Tooting, south London.

Roe said: “We all tiptoed around them, hushed and shushed, relaxed in tranquil silence from beeps and alarms.

“The peace was broken by phones buzzing and back to PPE (personal protective equipment) and patient care.

“The photograph was taken on 23 April during the peak of ICU admissions across South London, in the General Intensive Care staff room of St George’s Hospital in London.”

Read more: Prince George and Princess Charlotte join Prince William in family volunteering effort in new photo

Biba behind glass is one of the entries. (Kensington Palace)
Biba Behind Glass by Simon Murphy. (Kensington Palace)
Glass Kisses by Steph James. (Kensington Palace)
Glass Kisses by Steph James. (Kensington Palace)

In Glass Kisses, by Steph James, a one-year-old holds his palm out to his grandmother, 89, who kisses the window where his fingers are.

James said the pair “miss each other so much at the moment”, and added: “I captured this beautiful moment between them whilst dropping off groceries. Kisses through glass.”

Other images which have captured the duchess’s attention include a midwife in full PPE holding a newborn baby, called Life Goes On, and one of a young girl celebrating VE Day.

One image shows a midwife in full PPE having delivered a baby. (Kensington Palace)
Life Goes On by Matthew Williams. (Kensington Palace)
Images of VE Day in lockdown have also been chosen. (Kensington Palace)
VE Day Celebration during Lockdown by Vanita Bhuva. (Kensington Palace)

In Working From Home by Rosangela Borgese, a man has his back to the camera as he works while his toddler sprawls out on the living room floor surrounded by toys.

Borgese wrote: “This is our new normal daily working from home life. Looking after a toddler in a two bedroom top floor flat in lockdown for the past eight weeks. We are still adapting to the new fluid living, challenging at times, but entertained most of the time by our toddler.”

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge urges people to seek help with addictions – as research shows Brits drinking more in lockdown

Working From Home by Rosangela Borgese. (Kensington Palace)
Working From Home by Rosangela Borgese. (Kensington Palace)
One image shows a young girl in a face covering. (Kensington Palace)
We are the Future by Daisy Valencia. (Kensington Palace)

The project has three categories, Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness and entries can be submitted until 18 June.

Images will be assessed based on the emotion they convey, not the skill of the person behind the camera.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting