The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured two sites where the lockdown project photos are being shown in London

By Simon Perry and Simon Perry
October 20, 2020 09:35 AM
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Kate Middleton met some of the finalists of her Hold Still photo project as she and husband Prince William took in some of the stunning images that have gone on display around London.

The royal parents toured two sites on Tuesday in a surprise outing to showcase her lockdown photo project that is being celebrated around the U.K. as part of the Hold Still community exhibition.

The couple first visited Waterloo in south London to meet Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayad, a volunteer at a community Food Hub in Hackney who is the subject of a portrait — titled "Sami" by Grey Hutton — displayed at the site.

Credit: PA Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA Images

They then headed to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital to speak to frontline workers, including Joyce Duah, a specialist oncology pharmacist. Her photograph "All In This Together" was selected as one of the final 100 portraits. They also met her two colleagues, Amelia Chowdhury and Dipal Samuel, who are featured in the picture.

Kate Middleton
| Credit: Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Photographic portraits from the Hold Still digital exhibition have gone up around the U.K., bringing the stories of individuals and families during lockdown back to their communities. There are 112 Hold Still community sites around the U.K. on display in 80 towns, cities and areas across the country — aiming to bring the stories of people and families to life in their home communities.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA Images

Launched by the Duchess of Cambridge in May in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still invited people of all ages to send in a photographic portrait that they had taken during lockdown in an effort to capture the story of the people at this unique and challenging time.

“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,” Kate said in a statement. “Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.”

Kate Middleton
| Credit: Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock

The community exhibition will see the final 100 portraits exhibited for four weeks on billboard sites, such as at bus stops, in high streets and outside train stations, across the country.

Many of the portraits have also been displayed in the entrants’ hometowns with locations ranging from Belfast, Liverpool and Southampton to Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales, Oban in Scotland and Thorpe Audlin, in West Yorkshire.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock

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Princess Kate regularly shares photos she has taken of her children. She also took some emotional and compelling portraits of two Holocaust survivors with their grandchildren in January as part of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: PA Images

All the final 100 portraits are also featuring in a special exhibition hosted by the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire starting October 23.

The final 100 images were selected by a panel of judges, including the Duchess of Cambridge; Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery; Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, who last week had a private meeting with Princess Kate; Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Maryam Wahid, photographer.