Duchess of Cambridge has just announced a book publication of last year’s successful “Hold Still” exhibition, that helped capture the life of Britain as it underwent lockdown and faced the coronavirus pandemic.
Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020 will unite the final 100 Hold Still portraits, as well as the stories that go along with them.
Kate launched the project last year and invited people of all ages from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during the first lockdown. It is now being turned into a book to create a “lasting record” of the nation’s experience of lockdown.
The announcement of the new book was accompanied with a new, unseen photo of the Duchess of Cambridge. In the photo, Kate, dressed in a burgundy jumper over a white shirt, can be seen posing with her Fujifilm X-T3 camera. It was taken by royal photographer Matt Porteous shared to mark the occasion.
Considering the fact that the Duchess is wearing the same outfit as in the Cambridges’ Christmas card photo, it’s likely that this photo was taken during the same autumnal shoot.
In a foreword for the book, along with a gorgeous snap of the Duchess with a camera in her hand, Kate wrote: “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.
“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.”
Kate adds that she hopes the images will “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.”
The Duchess writes: “For me, the power of the images is in the poignant and personal stories that sit behind them. I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak to some 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 theme of those conversations was how lockdown reminded us about the importance of human connection and the huge value we place on the relationships we have with the people around us.
“Although we were physically apart, these images remind us that, as families, communities and a nation we need each other more than we had ever realised.”
Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, will be available in UK bookshops and online from Friday 7 May, one year on since the project was first launched.