The Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by Prince William, met with some of the finalists of the project she launched in May. Participants submitted images that showed what the coronavirus lockdown looked like for them.
In a statement obtained by People, the Duchess said: “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.
“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, alongside a panel of judges, was able to select her favourite photographs which will be displayed on billboards for four weeks.
The winners will also see their portraits exhibited on October 23 at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The Duke and the Duchess shared images of their outing on their Instagram account.
The pictures showed them both admiring the billboards with a caption that read: “Having seen the incredible response from people around the UK to the digital exhibition, we have brought #HoldStill2020 to the streets of the UK.
“Today The Duke and Duchess visited the Hold Still posters on display in Waterloo, London to see some of the portraits up close.
“With the support of @NationalPortraitGallery and @CoopUk, Hold Still portraits will be on display in 112 sites across 80 towns, cities, and boroughs over the coming weeks.
“After seeing the portraits on display, The Duke and Duchess met with NHS workers at St Barts, three of which were featured in the final 100 images for their image ‘All in this together’ – an incredibly moving image, showcasing the camaraderie of the NHS community.
“Launched by The Duchess of Cambridge in May 2020, Hold Still created a unique collective portrait of the UK during lockdown.
“Over 31,500 entries were submitted between May and June — taken all over the nation by all age groups.”
During their visit to St Bart’s hospital, the royal couple met specialist oncology pharmacist Joyce Duah.
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Ms Duah submitted the image “All in This Together”, which featured her co-workers Amelia Chowdhury and Dipal Samuel, who were working as pharmacy technicians in the Intensive Care Unit.
The photograph showed the technicians writing their names and drawing smiley faces and love hearts on their PPE aprons during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanking Ms Duah for her submission, Kate said: “Thank you so much for the image.
“It had such an impact it captured the moment, it was a look behind the scenes.
“The story of what you experienced is so important.”
Prince William added that documenting what happened throughout the pandemic was important for “history purposes”.
About her passion for photography, Ms Duah said: “I married photography and care together.
“I took a series of photos of them getting into and out of their PPE. I thought it was the most interesting aspect.
“It shows Amelia and Dipal writing their names with a marker on each other’s PPE because when a patient wakes up, they know our names. It was a very touching sentiment.
“Patients were often in a coma and so coming round confused and didn’t know who was treating them.
“But also we couldn’t even recognise each other at times without names.”