The secret letter Kate Middleton hid in Hold Still books has been revealed
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Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has been involved in a number of projects. Her most recent one being the book Hold Still, which was released on May 7.
During the first lockdown last year, Kate, 39, a keen photographer, started a campaign asking the public to submit images that captured the period.
From 31,000 submissions, Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020 features 100 final ‘poignant and personal’ portraits.
Kate is currently marketing the book, and she has come up with a unique way to do so.
She went to the National Portrait Gallery, for example, and met with some of the photographers whose work is featured in Hold Still.
Kate is also promoting the book by taking part in a special book hunt. According to People, she collaborated with the group Book Fairies to distribute 150 copies of Hold Still in the United Kingdom. A letter from Kate herself is included in these copies.
The Duchess of Cambridge marked the publication of Hold Still by hiding 150 copies of the book throughout the United Kingdom, along with a personal note.
People who were fortunate enough to obtain one of these limited edition copies have been sharing the letter’s contents.
The letter’s full text is as follows:
“The Hold Still book documents a photography project which captured a portrait of our nation as we lived through the first COVID-19 lockdown last year. The images tell the stories of the challenges we all faced, but also how we came together in the most extraordinary of times.
“I am proud to have worked closely with the National Portrait Gallery on this project, and thrilled that the Book Fairies across the country are returning the images to the communities at the heart of Hold Still.
“Once you have finished looking through the book, please leave it somewhere else in your community for the next person to enjoy. With my very best wishes, Catherine.”
Meanwhile, when the Hold Still exhibition took place in September 2020, Queen Elizabeth expressed her support for Kate.
In a message, Her Majesty stated that she had the opportunity to review the images submitted. “The Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need,” she added.
The Duchess’ work was applauded by royal supporters, who said she was ‘smashing it.’ ‘Wonderful. I love the way this woman goes about her business,’ one said.
‘This was such a fantastic project! Congratulations to the Duchess of Cambridge for this awesome initiative,’ another said.
Kate writes an introduction to the new book in which she discusses why launching Hold Still was so important to her.
‘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,’ she writes.
‘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.’
‘For me, the power of the images is in the poignant and personal stories that sit behind them. I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak to some of the photographers and sitters, to hear their stories first-hand – from moments of joy, love and community spirit, to deep sadness, pain, isolation and loss.
‘A common theme of those conversations was how lockdown reminded us about the importance of human connection and the huge value we place on the relationships we have with the people around us.
‘Although we were physically apart, these images remind us that, as families, communities and as a nation, we need each other more than we had ever realised.’
‘I hope that the final 100 photographs showcase the experiences and emotions borne during this time 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.’
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