Duchess Catherine unveils portrait competition finalists

BANG! NEWS – The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the 100 photographs that will feature in her ‘Hold Still’ online exhibition, a public competition which featured images of life in lockdown.

Duchess Catherine and a number of expert judges went through thousands of submissions to select the finalists for her National Portrait Gallery competition, which urged people to send in pictures that represented life in the United Kingdom (UK) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The duchess’ grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, was shown a selection of the entries last month and shared a message of congratulations to those who made the final shortlist. She wrote, “It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to look through a number of portraits that made the final 100 images for the Hold Still photography project.

“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.

“The Duchess of Cambridge and I send our best wishes and congratulations.” The chosen images – which focussed on three themes, Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal, and Acts of Kindness – include hospital staff at work, socially distanced birthday parties, lockdown haircuts, family visits through the pane of a window, protesters at Black Lives Matters marches and attending a funeral via Zoom.

The Countess of Wessex featured in one of the 31,000 portraits sent in to be considered for the online exhibition, but the only famous face to feature in the final 100 is Captain Sir Tom Moore, the former Army officer who raised tens of millions for charity in a lockdown fundraising initiative to mark his 100th birthday.

The final 100 images feature in a digital exhibition from yesterday and a selection will also be shown in various locations throughout the UK over the coming months.

Catherine was joined on the judging panel by the National Portrait Gallery’s Director Nicholas Cullinan, writer and poet Lemn Sissay, photographer Maryam Wahid, and Chief Nursing Officer of England Ruth May.