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Kate Middleton Starts Treasure Hunt to launch ‘Hold Still’ book

(Image: @KensingtonRoyal / Twitter)


Kate Middleton Starts Treasure Hunt to launch ‘Hold Still’ book


Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, the Duchess of Cambridge’s special pandemic picture project album, was unveiled today, and the royal took part in a special treasure quest to commemorate the occasion.

Last year, the Duchess of Cambridge, in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery, initiated a photographic initiative to inspire people in the UK to record their encounters during the pandemic.

“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,” she said in a statement at the time.

“Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

On Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in London to mark the publication of the book.

Kate Middleton partnered up with the Book Fairies, a worldwide network of people who leave books in various locations around the world for others to find. The Duchess left early this morning for London, where she helped conceal 150 copies of Hold Still, according to updates on Prince William and Kate’s social media accounts; in one of the royals’ Instagram images, Duchess Kate can be seen putting a copy of the book on the grounds outside Kensington Palace.


(Image: @KensingtonRoyal / Twitter)

Those who discover a book left by the Duchess of Cambridge are in for a rare treat.  “Each copy is adorned with a gold book fairy sticker, gold ribbon, and has a letter from The Duchess tucked inside. To make this activity even more special, book fairies, the Hold Still judges and participants of the final 100 images are leaving copies at places that gave them hope during the lockdown,” per the Cambridges’ Instagram.

“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. 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,” the Duchess writes in the book.

“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,” she adds.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an image – your stories are the most crucial part of this project. I hope that the final 100 images showcase the experiences and emotions borne during this extraordinary moment 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.”


Krish and his housemate discovered a copy concealed in London’s Van Gogh Walk and shared a snapshot of Kate’s note inside.

The letter is addressed to “Finder.” and is typed on Kensington Palace stationery.

“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,” Kate wrote. “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,” she said.

“Once you have finished looking through the book, please leave it somewhere else in your community for the next person to enjoy.” the note said.

“With my very best wishes, Catherine.” the message concluded.

Duchess Kate, in  collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery (of which she is patron) and invited citizens from all over the United Kingdom to send photos portraying their lives during the coronavirus outbreak. The feedback was overwhelming, with over 31,000 submissions received by Kate and a jury of judges.

The final 100 portraits were used in a multimedia exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and in March of this year, it was revealed that the project will be made into a special coffee table book, with a foreword written by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The book will be sold both digitally and in bookstores in the United Kingdom, with profits going to the mental health organisation Mind and the National Portrait Gallery. Kate tucked a few copies of her book across London for fortunate recipients on the day of its publication. In the Instagram video below, you will see her hiding one:

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