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CoronavirusThe Cambridges

The Duchess of Cambridge shares stories behind Hold Still portraits


Picture by i-Images / Pool

The Duchess of Cambridge shared the stories behind a few more Hold Still photographs a week on from the exhibition’s online debut.

Kate shared the images on the Kensington Royal social media accounts Monday afternoon, writing, “[W]e share a snippet of the incredible stories told behind the nation’s experience of life during the lockdown.

“Although #HoldStill2020 is a photography project, participants were asked to submit their stories to sit alongside their images, sharing what was going through that moment as the photo was taken.”

The first portrait highlighted was Franck’s Fight, taken by his mother Anna in Bristol. The accompanying story reads: “This shows our 5-year-old son Franck, who is being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, having his hospital chemo at home during lockdown. The treatment is being administered by his CLIC Sargent nurses from the Children’s Oncology/ Haematology ward at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Franck was the first patient of theirs to receive this new way of receiving treatment. The care they give him and us as a family is incredible and we can’t thank them enough.”

The second portrait highlighted was Clapping Together for the NHS, taken by Tricia Gilmore in Belfast. The accompanying story reads: “I took this photo of my next door neighbours, Gladys and Jack. Jack is in his 90s and they both came out every Thursday to clap for the NHS. They are an inspirational couple and still very much in love. They encouraged others to come out and clap and waved to everyone in the street. They are lovely neighbours to have and I am lucky to live next door.”

The third portrait highlighted was Waving to the Outside World, taken by 12-year-old Primrose in South Brent. The accompanying story reads: “One of the highlights of my lockdown homeschool was taking part in Photo S’cool with other kids. It was so much fun having the time to get creative at home, learn how to use a camera and take pictures of my family. This is a selfie and I received a highly commended for it. I love taking photos now.”

Hold Still was a photography project launched by the Duchess in May of this year in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, to create a portrait of the UK during COVID-19 lockdowns. The final exhibit, revealed last week, features 100 portraits; in total 31,598 portraits were submitted.

Hold Still can be viewed here.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.