Kate Middleton radiates warmth and gratitude in a new message thanking Britons for coming together and sharing their pictures and stories of life under lockdown.
A video of the 38-year-old Duchess of Cambridge was posted on her and Prince William's Instagram page on Sunday, Nov. 15. In the clip, Kate thanked people who took part in her and the National Portrait Gallery's community photography project, "Hold Still."
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted an image to 'Hold Still,'" she said, smiling. "I launched the project with the National Portrait Gallery back in May because I wanted to find a way to allow everyone to share their stories and experiences of lockdown. We have been thrilled by the response to the project and I couldn't be more grateful to each and every one of the 31,000 people who submitted an image."
Out of all the submissions, judges selected 100 photographs to include as part of an outdoor nationwide exhibition. The images included photos of essential workers in full PPE and women, wearing surgical masks, meeting their babies for the first time after giving birth.
There were also pictures of couples getting married during lockdown, as well as children painting pictures and playing at home with their families. In her video, Kate sat in front of two submitted portraits.
The Duchess, who is a photography enthusiast, said, "It was so hard to select the final 100 photographs, but we hope we've created a collective portrait of our nation, reflecting on what others have experienced as well as our own journey through this difficult time."
"Hold Still" was launched in May. The Duchess said it has been "fantastic" to see portraits displayed as billboards and posters across the United Kingdom as part of the project's community exhibition. She added, "I am hugely grateful to all our partners for helping us take the images back to the people and communities who took them."
"For me, the most powerful part of the project is that it's shown just how much people and their communities have come together and how important we all are to each other," said Kate. "Thank you so much for being part of 'Hold Still' and for sharing your stories with the nation."
In October, Kate and William made a surprise public appearance in London, visiting some of the portraits on display.