After launching their own channel with a short trailer on Tuesday, May 5, the royals pulled back the curtain on a call the Duchess of Cambridge had with now-5-year-old Mila Sneddon and her mom Lynda Sneddon back in the fall of 2020. Mila, who was 4 years old at the time of the conversation, had been undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A week before the U.K.'s lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, she and her mother isolated in a different household from her dad Scott and her older sister Jodi as an extra precaution given Scott having to leave their bubble for work. While they were in separate homes for the time, Scott and Jodi visited Mila at their house's window every day, a moment captured in a touching portrait Lynda took titled, "Shielding Mila."
At the encouragement of her own mother, who saw the duchess on morning TV one day, Lynda submitted the photo to the National Portrait Gallery's Hold Still exhibition, which Kate spearheaded as patron. Featuring 100 final portraits, including the one of Mila, the exhibition was meant to capture the U.K. during its first lockdown. The pictures, chosen out of more than 31,000 submissions, will also be compiled in the book, Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation, available on May 7.
While Scott was able to reunite with his family after seven weeks apart and being furloughed from his job, for Mila and her family, the picture encapsulates a significant time in their lives. "Our lockdown did come with a bit of a silver lining because she's still going through treatment and her immune system is compromised," Lynda explained to Kate. "Lockdown for us, allowed us a period of time to just focus on her treatment without any interruption of illnesses and viruses in general, not just Covid."
During their phone call, Mila adorably asked the duchess if she has a "costume." While Kate noted she was not wearing a princess costume at the time, she said she would have to find a pink dress—Mila's favorite color—for when they hopefully meet one day. The youngster also proudly listed off the names of Kate's famous children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
"He's very quick running around," Kate said of Louis, 3, "and he's on his little scooter as well. He's very quick. I can't keep up with him."