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The Duchess of Cambridge launched her Hold Still photography project in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery last year.

The endeavour aimed to encourage those in the UK to document their experiences during the pandemic.

“We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country,” she said.

“Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.

“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, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

The heartfelt project is now turning into a photography book called Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020.

Inside, it will feature 100 portraits from the project, along with accompanying stories, and a foreword from the Duchess herself.

“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,” the royal wrote.

“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.

“Through Hold Still, I wanted to use the power of photography to create a lasting record of what we were all experiencing – to capture individuals’ stories and document significant moments for families and communities as we lived through the pandemic,” she continues.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an image – your stories are the most crucial part of this project. I hope that the final 100 images showcase the experiences and emotions borne during this extraordinary moment in history, pay tribute to the awe-inspiring efforts of all who have worked to protect those around them, and provide a space for us to pause and reflect upon this unparalleled period.”

The new book will be available both online and in bookstores in the UK starting May 7.

The sales will be split between the mental health charity Mind and the National Portrait Gallery.

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