The Duchess Pens introduction for “Hold Still: A portrait of Our nation in 2020” book

excellent news for those of us hoping for a book featuring images from the Hold Still picture project: there will be a hardcover available showcasing 100 images.

Many will recall that Hold Still was an effort the Duchess launched last may with the national portrait Gallery; she is the gallery’s royal patron.  people were asked to submit photos taken during the UK’s very first lockdown; images fit in one of three categories: Helpers and Heroes, Your new Normal, and Acts of Kindness.  a lot more than 31,000 images were submitted, and 100 were selected to be part of a digital exhibition.

A hardcover book, Hold Still: A portrait of Our nation in 2020, will be available in May. The Duchess has written the book’s introduction.

From the introduction: 

When we look back at the COVID-19 pandemic in decades to come, we will believe 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 crucial workers.  but we will also keep in mind the positives: the extraordinary acts of kindness, the helpers and heroes who emerged from all walks of life, and exactly how together we adapted to a new normal. 

Through Hold Still, I wanted to utilize the power of photography to create a lasting record of what we were all experiencing – to capture individuals’ stories and paper considerable moments for families and communities as we lived with the pandemic.

Above left, “Gimba – The Ward Host‘ by Hassan Akkad; on the right, “Amanda and her kid Terrence,’ shot by Zak Waters.  a lot more from the introduction: 

For me, the power of the images is in the poignant and personal stories that sit behind them.

I was delighted to have the chance to speak to some of the photographers and sitters, to hear their stories first-hand – from moments of joy, love and community spirit, to deep sadness, pain, isolation and loss.

A common style of those conversations was exactly how lockdown reminded us about the value of human connection and the significant value we location on the relationships we have with the people around us.

Above, “Rainbow,” photographed by Helen Pugh of Edinburgh. Below, the full text of the introduction. 

Kensington Palace notes the announcement about the book comes after the UK marked the very first anniversary of the very first national lockdown earlier this week.  Below, the back cover of the book.  The picture utilized for the back of the book is “Biba Behind Glass” by Simon Murphy of Glasgow.

In addition to the digital exhibition, the final 100 portraits were displayed across the UK during October and November 2020.  a lot more about the book by means of a news release:

As well as showcasing the final 100 images and the stories that accompany each of them, the book, which has been put together with support from the Co-op, will look back at highlights from the community exhibition which took the portraits to billboards and outdoor poster sites in 80 towns, cities and areas in October 2020.

 Below, the Duke and Duchess in October looking at one of the posters during the community launch.  The portrait is titled The look of Lockdown.

The book cover features Melanie, March 2020, taken by Johanna Churchill, a nurse.  The picture shows one of Ms. Churchill’s colleagues as she was working on setting up a COVID-19 clinic in London. Below, the Duke and Duchess viewing one of the poster-sized versions of that photo.

The book’s publication date is may 7; it is available for preordering (£24.95) by means of the portrait Gallery.

My good friend Micki Maynard tells me the overall for her book, including shipping to Michigan, was $55.19. 

Poster-sized reproductions of a number of photos are also offered by the gallery (£15, about $21).

Proceeds from sales will benefit the gallery and Mind, a mental health and wellness charity that provides recommendations and support to empower any individual experiencing a mental health and wellness problem. a lot more from The evening Standard’s story about the book: 

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer thanked the duchess for supporting the charity, and those who submitted photographs.

He said: “The coronavirus pandemic is a mental health and wellness emergency as well as a physical one.

“The devastating loss of life, the effect of lockdown, and any recession that lies ahead means there has never been a a lot more important time to prioritise our mental health.

“This inspiring collection of portraits illustrates the effect of the pandemic in all its complexity, but also exactly how creativity, art and human connection can assist us discover indicating in unprecedented challenges.”

Now for our look atwhat the Duchess is wearing in the Matt Porteous picture utilized in the introduction.

It looks like the picture was taken the exact same day Mr. Porteous took the Cambridge family’s Christmas card photo. 

Kate is wearing a sweater that was not identified, and the Sézane Margeurite Blouse very first worn during a June 2019 trip to the Lake District.  The tee shirt is cotton with a ‘pie crust collar’ (ruffled) and distinctive ladder-stitch detailing at the front placket, cuffs, and shoulders.

The Duchess also appears to be wearing her Daniella Draper Mini Cupid Hoop Earrings ($285). 

For those curious about the Duchess’s camera, a gentleman named Justin Clayton reports on Twitter it is a Fujifilm XT-3.

The Duchess has also been photographed with a Canon camera.


The National portrait Gallery site is here; the Hold Still page is here; all 100 photos may be seen here; the book ordering page is here. 

The Mind site is here; its Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here, and the Instagram page here.

The evening Standard’s story is here; The Telegraph’s piece is here; The daily Mail’s coverage is here; a Yahoo news post is here.

People’s story is here; Bazaar’s post is here. 


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