The Duchess of Cambridge released a phone call she held with a young girl at the centre of a Hold Still portrait chosen for exhibition last summer, and featuring in a new book of still released this week.
Kate shared a video snippet of her telephone call with Mila Sneddon, a four-year-old girl living with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who had to shield away from her father and older sister during coronavirus lockdowns last year as she’d only just started chemotherapy treatment.
“Good morning, Your Royal Highness,” Mila says at the beginning of the call, to which Kate replies, “Good morning. My goodness me, you’re so polite, Mila!”
After talking about how brave she’d been to be separated from her father, Mila asks Kate if she has a costume.
Kate laughs, “I’m not wearing a princess costume right now, I’m afraid Mila. Do you have lots of dressing-up outfits yourself?” When Mila tells her that she has a lot of outfits and that her favourite colour is pink, Kate says, “OK, well I have to make sure I go and try and find myself a pink dress so that hopefully, when one day hopefully, Mila we’ll get to meet and then I’ll remember to wear my pink dress for you. Would that be nice?”
Last year when Mila’s portrait was selected for the National Portrait Gallery’s Hold Still exhibit of 100 photographs documenting life during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, she spoke with ITV about the process. “There is a real life Princess who picked my picture. The Queen knows about everything, everyone in this whole entire world will see my picture,” she said.
Mila’s portrait will feature in the new Hold Still photography book released on Friday. In the foreword, Kate wrote, “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.”
Watch the full phone conversation with Mila and her mother here.