Kate Middleton teased her followers on social media with a glimpse of an email she sent revealing the 100 portraits selected for her special photo exhibit, "Hold Still."
Thousands of people across the U.K. sent in photos that represented life amid the coronavirus pandemic — and the royal is set to show off the final selection of pictures in an online exhibition.
On Friday, Kate, 38, revealed a personal email she sent on Thursday to her fellow judges, which contained an attachment of the 100 final picks.
Signing herself simply with a "C" for Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge wrote, “I am thrilled we have chosen the final 100 portraits. I thought you might like to see the images all together so please find them attached.”
“I couldn’t have done it without you so thank you so much for your help!”
The "Hold Still" project, which Kate spearheaded alongside the National Portrait Gallery, asked for Britons to share their best photos of their families, work colleagues or communities as they endured the “new normal” of life in lockdown and coped with the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The "Hold Still" project kicked off in May as Princess Kate hoped to capture a pictorial history of the U.K. as people grappled with the unprecedented health crisis. She set out to find some of the most compelling images reflecting this period in history and people were asked to submit their own portraits inspired by three themes: Helpers and Heroes; Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.
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The shortlisted images will now be featured in what Kate's office calls "a gallery without walls – a one of a kind digital exhibition open to all."
Each image was assessed by a team of judges, including Kate, on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise. The photos were taken on phones or cameras.
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When she launched the initiative in May, Kate, 38, said, “We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country. Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.”
Princess Kate shared some of her own personal images she took amid life in lockdown when she took photos of Prince Louis to mark his second birthday in April. He was memorably captured after a messy rainbow painting session. Rainbows were an ongoing theme of the first weeks of lockdown as people used them to pay tribute to health care staff and frontline workers.
The royal managed to encourage at least one of her relatives to take part. Queen Elizabeth's daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex was an early high-profile contributor. She released an image she submitted — and a shot of her taking it while she helped volunteers at a mosque. Called "Packed with Love," it depicts a volunteer, Ali, whose "smile captures the enthusiasm for helping others that is so evident amongst the volunteers at the Mosque,” Sophie wrote in her accompanying caption.
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