The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the launch of her Hold Still photographic exhibition by meeting a volunteer featured in one of the pictures on display.
Kate was joined by husband William when they travelled to Waterloo in south London to view one of the public exhibition sites for the duchess’ project which challenged the public to document life under lockdown with a camera or smartphone.
The couple met Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayad, a volunteer at a community Food Hub in Hackney who featured in one of the portraits displayed at the site – Sami – by Grey Hutton.
Kate and a panel of judges selected 100 images from more than 31,000 entries for the Hold Still exhibition, which launched with the National Portrait Gallery in May.
People of all ages across the UK were invited to submit a photo which they had taken during lockdown, and in the six weeks that the project was open 31,598 images were submitted.
Hold Still focused on three themes – helpers and heroes, your new normal and acts of kindness – with the final 100 tackling subjects including family life in lockdown, the work of healthcare staff and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Kate and William later travelled to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London to speak to frontline workers including Joyce Duah, a specialist oncology pharmacist at the hospital, whose photograph – All In This Together – was selected as one of the final portraits.
The couple also chatted to the pharmacist’s two colleagues, Amelia Chowdhury and Dipal Samuel, who feature in the photograph.
Today's the day!
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) September 14, 2020
Photographic portraits from the Hold Still exhibition have gone on show in 80 towns, cities and areas across the UK, bringing the stories of individuals and families during lockdown back to their communities.
The community exhibition will see the 100 portraits exhibited for a period of four weeks on billboard and outdoor poster sites, including bus stops, high streets and outside train stations.
One of the portraits – Melanie, March 2020, taken by Johannah Churchill – has been recreated as a hand-painted mural in Manchester city centre. All 100 portraits will also feature in a special exhibition hosted by the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire from Friday.