Queen ‘inspired’ by moving lockdown photo project launched by Kate Middleton

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The Queen has hailed a photo project launched by Kate Middleton, which offers a “snapshot of life during lockdown ”.

Hold Still was put together by the Duchess of Cambridge with the National Portrait Gallery, and attracted more than 31,000 entries from members of the public in six weeks.

Kate pored through the submissions with a judging panel and selected 100 finalists, whose work is on display today in a digital exhibition at https://www.npg.org.uk/hold-still/.

The Queen wrote in a letter to entrants: “It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to look through a number of the portraits that made the final 100 images for the Hold Still photography project.

"The Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need.

"The Duchess of Cambridge and I send our best wishes and congratulations to all those who submitted a portrait to the project."

Focused on three main themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness – some of the photographs will also go on show in towns and cities across Britain later in the year.

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One pic, called Sami, shows a volunteer from a food hub in Hackney, east London.

Photographer Grey Hutton said: “Originally from Sudan and raised in Brazil, Sami came to the UK for his PhD, and had just moved into an apartment overlooking the food hub.

“He saw what was happening below, and came down to lend a hand. I was immediately drawn to his beaming smile and positive vibe.”

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Another, entitled Holding Tight, shows mum Katy Rudd hugging her son Wilf on VE day.

Partner Joe Wyer, from Redhill in Surrey, said: “On VE Day, we hung up Wilf’s great grandfather’s Second World War flag in our small patch and had a picnic – our neighbours did the same.

“Lockdown had been hard, but it had brought our community together and it had given us time together as a family. We were feeling grateful for that."

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Melanie Lowis, from Teddington in south-west London, submitted a picture of her five-year-old daughter with a cut-out of her grandmother, 73, she’d designed.

Descriving Never Without Her Grandma, she said: “Millie sees Grandma almost daily and lockdown prevented the pair from seeing each other.

“As a retired teacher, grandma would have made the perfect partner to help Millie with home schooling.

“The bond between this grandma and granddaughter is truly a special one and when lockdown ends, and the real grandma can return, it will be a very happy and emotional reunion.”

  • Queen
  • Kate Middleton Duchess Of Cambridge
  • Royal Family
  • Lockdown

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