Three more images unveiled for Kate Middleton's Hold Still exhibition

Duchess of Cambridge’s latest additions to her Hold Still exhibition of life in 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery are unveiled – including an elderly woman smiling through a window and a boy in an empty supermarket

  • National Portrait Gallery has unveiled three more images selected for Hold Still
  • Duchess of Cambridge, 38, launched the photography contest during lockdown
  • Kate Middleton encouraged people to submit their photos to the gallery  
  • She recently appeared in new video alongside judging panel for Hold Still 

The National Portrait Gallery has unveiled three more images selected by the Duchess of Cambridge for her Hold Still exhibition. 

Kate Middleton, 38, joined by a panel of five judges to select the best images from more than 31,000 submitted for the nation-wide contest earlier this month. 

At the time the royal, who is a keen amateur photographer, said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the public’s response to her community photography exhibition, saying it was  ‘so hard’ to whittle the images down to a top 100. 

Now the gallery has unveiled a further three images taken during the pandemic and selected by the Duchess and the other judges to be displayed as part of the exhibition.

Three further images selected by Duchess of Cambridge, 38, for her Hold Still contest have been unveiled by the National Portrait Gallery (pictured Kate Middleton during the judging last month) 

Sharing the news online, the gallery tweeted: ‘We are excited to reveal three more images from #HoldStill2020 community photography project. 

‘Spearheaded by the Duchess of Cambridge, the final 100 will feature in a digital exhibition, launching on Monday 14 September.’

It went on to reveal the images were Rainbow By Helen Pugh, ‘Keep smiling through. Just like you always do. ‘Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away’ By Jessica Sommerville, Empty by Julie Thiberg.

In one photograph, a young girl could be seen drawing a huge rainbow onto a window pane, while in another a boy was pushed around an empty supermarket.

Among the images selected by Kate Middleton and the judging panel was one shot of an elderly woman beaming through a window 

Another of the images chosen by the Duchess for her community photography project was a photograph of a young boy staring  out at empty supermarket shelves

Another image shows an elderly woman smiling through a window to the photographer on the other side.

The unveiling of a further three winning photographs comes weeks after Kate appeared in a video alongside the judging panel and said ‘it’s been great’ to work on the project.

As the Duchess, who spearheaded the campaign and is a keen amateur photographer, discussed choosing the top 100 images, she joked: ‘It’s going to be so difficult to edit this down.’  

Joining her was Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Maryam Wahid, photographer, to chose the top 100 entries. 

The final of the three images to be unveiled was a snap of a little girl painting a rainbow on a window pane 

The royal appeared in high spirits in the clip, asking the group of judges: ‘What’s going to happen next?’ as she laughed and joked with the panel.   

Announcing that the top 100 images had been selected, the Duchess said: ‘I’ve been so overwhelmed by the public’s response to Hold Still, the quality of the images has been extraordinary, and the poignancy and the stories behind the images have been equally as moving as well.’

She continued: ‘So I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has entered and taken part. 

‘And a big thank you to my fellow judges. I hugely appreciate the time and dedication that they have shown towards the project.’ 

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

A snapshot of the Duchess on a video call with the other judges was also shared. 

In the clip, the royal appeared elegant in a forest green top, which was emblazoned with black-and-white flowers.  

Kate wore her hair in a relaxed side parting, and opted for a set of drop earrings for the occasion.

Meanwhile Lemn said the experience had been surprisingly emotional, revealing: ‘I didn’t expect the judging process to be so emotional. 

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

This is one of the photos selected by the Duchess of Cambridge ahead of showcasing the final 100 images in a digital exhibition from September 14

‘As I studied the portraits in this most public crisis I was drawn into the most private moments.

‘A nation through portraiture. Intimacy and inspiration, bravery and hope, determination and love and loss and laughter… 

‘We have been in this together and in these portraits of private struggles and victories, the quiet moments, the tears and laughter are caught on camera for ever in Hold Still.’

She added that the collection of portraits ‘made her proud to be British’, saying: ‘It made me proud of my fellow citizen. It made me remember who we are and what we have been through. I didn’t really know until now.’ 

Kate Middleton, who is a keen amateur photographer, launched the community contest during lockdown to capture the mood of the nation

The news comes after the Duchess teased the final 100 portraits had been chosen with an email screengrab, which was posted on Twitter  

Last month, Kate used the initial of her first name Catherine to sign off an email to judges of her Hold Still portrait contest.

Taking to Kensington Royal Twitter account, Kate shared an email teasing the final 100 photographs picked to feature in the Hold Still exhibition – a campaign she spearheaded which aims to capture a snapshot of the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Alongside the caption: ‘An email was sent yesterday… Eyes#HoldStill2020,’ the contents of the email read: ‘Dear judges, 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. C.’ 

This moving image submitted to the project shows a hospital worker on the floor in despair. It’s titled Heartbroken Hero

Throughout lockdown the Duchess shared regular updates via Instagram, offering up some of her favourite shots and explanations on why they make such an impact.

Images included photos of exhausted healthcare workers and socially distant neighbours.   

Other images submitted to the Hold Still project include one of a family dinner table where a little girl is trying to sing Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and another snap of children living next-door to each other playing musical instruments in front of their houses. 

Kate previously told how she had been ‘struck’ by the many ‘incredible’ images seen already, ‘which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people – some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic’. 

The relationship between a toddler and an elderly woman is captured in this image, ‘Social distancing

People from across the UK were invited to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times for the community project.

Participants were also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph. 

Hold Still was completely free, open to all ages and abilities, with the exhibition set to focus on three core themes – ‘Helpers and Heroes’, ‘Your New Normal’ and ‘Acts of Kindness’. 

Emergency services workers are celebrated in this image called Customised PPE, taken in the back of an ambulance

The idea was to create a unique photographic portrait of the people of our nation in lockdown as we ‘hold still’ for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.

The exhibition will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.

Hold Still will also act as a reminder of the significance of human connection in times of adversity, and that although we were physically apart, as a community and nation, we all faced and rose to the challenge together.

The top 100 photographs will be exhibited in online from 14 September, with selected images shown in towns and cities across the country later in the year.  

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