Kate Middleton's 'Hold Still' project to be turned into a photo book

The Duchess of Cambridge has written a foreword for the book, which will be released in May

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has announced that her Hold Still photography project is set to be turned into a book.

The Covid-19 project documented life during the UK's 2020 lockdowns in 100 photos, something she hopes will "provide a lasting record of the pandemic".

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Through 'Hold Still', I wanted to use the power of photography to create a lasting record of what we were all experiencing

The duchess, who is married to Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II's grandson and second in line to the throne, launched the project with Britain's National Portrait Gallery in 2020. A final 100 portraits were chosen from more than 31,000 entries, and were shown in digital and community exhibitions around the country.

For the book, the Duchess of Cambridge has penned a foreword which reads: "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.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is seen in this handout photo released by the Kensington Palace in Britain. Matt Porteous/Handout via Reuters THIS PICTURE IS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER 31 DECEMBER, 2021, WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM KENSINGTON PALACE. NO CHARGE SHOULD BE MADE FOR THE SUPPLY, RELEASE OR PUBLICATION OF THE PHOTOGRAPH. THE PHOTOGRAPH MUST NOT BE DIGITALLY ENHANCED, MANIPULATED OR MODIFIED IN ANY MANNER OR FORM AND MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH WHEN PUBLISHED.

"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.

"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."

To accompany news of the book launch, a new portrait of the royal was released. The informal image, captured by Matt Porteous, shows the duchess in a garden, holding a camera. She is wearing a red jumper with a white collar, with her hair worn down.

Porteous has captured a number of photos of the Cambridge family, including their 2020 and 2018 Christmas card images, shots of the family at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2019 and Prince George's fifth birthday portraits.

The book, titled Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, will be available from Friday, May 7, exactly a year after the project began. Net proceeds will be split between the National Portrait Gallery and the British mental health charity Mind.

A video of the Duchess of Cambridge unboxing a prototype copy of Hold Still has been shared on the Kensington Royal Instagram: 

Additional reporting by Reuters