Royal Corner

Will and Kate Meet Hold Still Photographers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent today meeting the photographers featured in her Hold Still Intiative in London.

OCTOBER 20th, 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited various public portraits from her Hold Still project on show across London today - © Getty Images


o mark her Hold Still project being shown across the country, the Duchess of Cambridge was joined by her husband the Duke of Cambridge to view some of the moving portraits across the city of London today. 100 handpicked photos from the digital exhibition will be shown on billboard and outdoor posters across sites in 80 areas throughout the UK for the next four weeks.

The locations range from Belfast, Liverpool, Southampton, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Oban, Manchester and Thorpe Audlin. The Duke and Duchess visited one of the 112 portraits on show at Waterloo and later met with Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayad, who appears in one of the photographs featured.

The portraits will be shown across 80 areas across the UK - © Getty Images

The Duchess launched the intiative earlier this year to create a national portrait of the public's response to the pandemic - © Getty Images

The Royal couple spoke with front line workers who were featured in the exhibition - © Getty Images

He said: “It was such a joy to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and I can’t believe my picture made it to the final 100.

“I didn’t even know it was being submitted by my colleague at the food hub, so it came as a massive shock when I got a call from the National Portrait Gallery saying the Duchess wanted to speak to me.

“She called me a few weeks ago and we had such a lovely conversation. She told me she wanted to build not only a snapshot of how Britain was coping in the pandemic, but to show all sides of what people have gone through and are still going through.

“She came across as really caring and dedicated, I was so impressed she took the time to call me.”

Sami also told the Duke of Cambridge how his colleague submitted the picture of him standing in the garden with his apron on without him knowing. William laughed in response replying: “Oh that’s great, you didn’t know at all? Love it. That’s brilliant.”

The Duchess wore a stunning red Alexander McQueen coat for the engagement - © AP

She also wore a facemask for portions of the visit to comply with UK-wide guidelines - © Getty Images

The royal couple later travelled to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and met with front line workers who also feature in the Hold Still exhibition. Joyce Duah, who took Hold Still’s ‘All in This Together’ portrait met the Duke and Duchess and explained the reasoning behind taking the photo. “Amelia and Dipal have been working hard as pharmacy technicians, delivering vital medication multiple times a day to ICU. I've watched them with such admiration for what they are doing and more importantly their positive attitudes.

“They spend their precious lunch breaks encouraging each other with humour and I think they are so brave. I decided I wanted to use my photography skills to document some of their journey.

“I'm so proud of the team and all they do, and it's been a privilege to capture their journey during this historic time."

Whilst the Duchess was focusing on the portraits, the Duke’s attention momentarily shifted to the local KFC restaurant, as delighted and shocked onlookers laughed and joked with the future king over what meal they had ordered. The Duke later joked that whilst he liked a KFC, Nando’s was his favourite.

Prince William also spent time speaking to the public who were eating KFC - © Getty Images

The Duchess was later praised by Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, who said: ““From the initial concept to where we are today with this national living exhibition the Duchess has been phenomenal.

“She has been dedicated and thoughtful and what we have is a wonderful and moving snapshot of the compelling and varied experiences so many people have experienced throughout the country.

“We are so proud of what has been achieved and I hope many people will be able to get out and view the exhibition across the 112 community sites.”

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