Kate Middleton to publish portrait book documenting COVID-19 pandemic in the UK
Kate Middleton announced the publication of a portrait book Saturday that documents the United Kingdom’s experience during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s book, “Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020,” is filled portraits taken during a six-week period between May and June of last year.
The project, a collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London, began almost year ago. People of all ages were invited to submit entries focused on three core themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness, according to the NPG.
Out of over 1,000 submissions from people aged 4 to 75 years-old, 100 portraits were ultimately chosen to be featured in a community exhibition, showcased in towns and cities across the UK throughout October and November of 2020. The exhibit displayed the portraits on 400 outdoor posters which adorned bus stops, phone booths, and more.
The coffee table version of the exhibition, which includes the top 100 images as well as a new image of Kate taken by photographer Matt Porteous, will be available May 7. The duchess wrote the foreword for the book, in which she explains what inspired her to join the NPG in creating the work.
“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,” she wrote, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
She added, “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.”
Harper’s Bazaar noted that half of the book’s proceeds will go to the National Portrait Gallery, and the other 50 percent will help support mental health charity Mind.