Over the course of the last year, the Duchess of Cambridge has kept herself busy with a wealth of charitable initiatives, but few made quite as big a splash as Hold Still. Developed in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, the project invited Britons to submit images of their day-to-day lives during the pandemic, with 31,000 entries in total. The 100 finalists not only had their work showcased in a virtual NPG exhibition, but the portraits were later displayed on billboards across the UK as part of a community exhibition.
Now, Kensington Palace has announced that the tear-jerking images will be released as a book on 7 May, one year on from the official launch of Hold Still. The volume will include full-page reproductions of the competition winners’ photographs, as well as shots of them in situ on billboards in more than 70 British communities. Happily, all proceeds will go to support “arts and mental health projects across the UK, including Mind’s work in local communities and the NPG’s education and community projects”, according to the press release.
“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,” the Duchess writes in her introduction to the book. “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.”
Kensington Palace also released a candid image of the Duchess at her Norfolk home of Anmer Hall, where she has been isolating throughout the pandemic with her family. “I hope that the final 100 images 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,” she concludes. Pre-order your copy via the NPG website now.
From British Vogue