Duchess of Cambridge has admitted she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the public’s response to her photography lockdown competition Hold Still. She joined a panel of judges of five judges to select the best images from 31,000 photos submitted for the nation-wide contest.
Kate, who is a patron of the National Portrait Gallery, launched the project in hope to capture “the spirit of the nation” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the winners of the photography competition, she said: “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.
“So I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has entered and taken part. And a big thank you to my fellow judges. I hugely appreciate the time and dedication that they have shown towards the project.”
Kate appeared relaxed on the call, donning a green and white blouse combined with a set of drop earrings. She joined judges Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and photographer Maryam Wahid.
Speaking with them, Kate said: “I just want to reflect on, I suppose how we first came to think of the idea and why we chose to do this photography project.
“I think we all really felt, and I particularly felt, really strongly that I wanted to try and create a portrait of the nation that sort of captures the fears and the hopes and the feelings of the nation at this really extraordinary time, as a record I suppose for years to come.
“The quality of the images has been extraordinary really and the poignancy and the stories behind the images I think have been equally moving as well.”
“The thing that I suppose has struck me going through all these images is just how different and diverse everyone’s experience of COVID-19 has been. No one story is the same, everyone’s is unique.”
The top 100 photos will feature online from 14 September, with a selection of these photographs will also be shown in towns and cities across the UK later in the year.