Kate Middleton Thanks Photographers for 'Sharing Your Stories' About Life in the U.K. amid COVID

More than 5 million people have viewed the Duchess of Cambridge's Hold Still community exhibition, which is soon coming to a close

Kate Middleton Hold Still project
Kate Middleton. Photo: Kensington Palace

Kate Middleton is speaking out about her pride in the “powerful” way her photography project has helped capture how "people have come together" amid the coronavirus crisis.

Kate, 38, asked Britons to send in portraits that portrayed people coping with lockdown, illness and grief. The Hold Still digital exhibition of the best 100 images has received more than 5.2 million views, her office at Kensington Palace revealed in its latest update. The final pictures have also been displayed on billboards and poster sites in 80 towns and cities across the U.K. in a community exhibition.

Speaking as the outdoor exhibition comes to a close, Kate says, “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted an image to Hold Still. I launched the project with the National Portrait Gallery back in May because I wanted to find a way to allow everyone to share their stories and experiences of lockdown.”

“We have been thrilled by the response to the project and I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of the 31,000 people who submitted an image. It was so hard to select the final 100 photographs, but we hope we have created a collective portrait of our nation, reflecting on what others have experienced as well as our own journeys through this difficult time," she said.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton talking with Johannah Churchill. Kensington Palace

“It has been fantastic to see these portraits on billboards and outdoor poster sites across the country as part of our community exhibition, and I’m hugely grateful to all our partners for helping us take the images back to the people and communities who took them.

“For me, the most powerful part of the project is that it has shown just how much people and communities have come together and how important we all are to each other. Thank you so much for being part of Hold Still and for sharing your stories with the nation," she concluded.

Earlier this week, Kate chatted via video with the artist behind one of the most famous images — Johannah Churchill, who captured her colleague Melanie as she worked to set up a COVID clinic in London. The image is displayed in a huge mural in Manchester, northwest England.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

During her conversation with Johannah Churchill, Kate talked about the important role the photograph has played in helping to represent the experiences of frontline workers across the nation as they continue to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge
Kate Middleton and Prince William. Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

For her part, Churchill also told Kate how the image has led her to receive messages from medical staff from across the U.K., and around the world, and “has allowed them to share their own experiences of working during these extraordinary times,” Kensington Palace says.

Last month, Kate and husband Prince William went out to Waterloo, London, to see some of the images as they were exhibited on billboards and poster sites.

Related Articles