Royal News

‘Hold Still’ – The Duchess of Cambridge teams up with National Portrait Gallery

The Duchess of Cambridge has joined forces with the National Portrait Gallery to launch a new photography project which will capture the “resilience, bravery and kindness” of Britons during the Coronavirus crisis. The project entitled ‘Hold Still’ will showcase those whose lives have been put on hold to help the NHS as well as those frontline workers who put their lives on the line everyday to continue going to work.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who has spearheaded the campaign,  is Patron of the National Portrait Gallery and a budding photographer herself. It has become a tradition in recent years that on the Cambridge children’s birthdays, new photos are released to celebrate and all have been taken by The Duchess. Most recently photos of Princess Charlotte were released showing her delivering food packages to pensioners near Anmer Hall.

The ‘Hold Still’ project will see 100 shortlisted entries form a ‘Hold Still 2020 Exhibition’ and The Duchess of Cambridge will personally curate the 100 choices. The Duchess said she has 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 project calls for people to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times. The submissions are also being asked to include a short written submission to outline experiences and emotions of those pictured. The general idea is to create a unique photographic portrait of our nation as we cope with lockdown and ‘hold still’ for the benefit of those around us.

The Duchess of Cambridge concluded, “Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery and kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

Nicholas Cullinan, director of National Portrait Gallery London, said, “Even if we are alone, we can all create something together. We are honoured to partner with The Duchess of Cambridge on the Hold Still project, which will provide an inclusive perspective on, and an important historical record of, these unprecedented times, expressed through the faces of the nation.”

The Duchess of Cambridge has been Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012 and has a lifetime honorary membership of the Royal Photographic Society.

Applications for ‘Hold Still’ can be submitted from today (May 7th) until June 18th. Submissions cane be captured on phones or cameras and will be judged on the emotion and experience they convey rather than photographic quality or technical expertise.

Submissions can be made via


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