The Duchess of Cambridge marked the publication day of her Hold Still photography book on Friday, visiting the Royal London Hospital and the National Portrait Gallery’s Archive.
Earlier in the day, Kate left a copy of the book outside Kensington Palace for someone to discover, teaming up with The Book Fairies, a literary movement which urges readers to share books which they have read and enjoyed by leaving them in public spaces for others to find.
And that wasn’t all, inside each one of the 150 copies of the books hidden around the UK, there was also a special note from the Duchess.
Twitter user Krish was lucky enough to find a copy of Hold Still hidden in London’s Van Gogh Walk, and shared a photo of the letter from Kate inside, which was addressed to “Dear finder”.
The note written by Kate read: “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.”
The Hold Still project was aaunched in May 2020, when Kate invited people of all ages across the UK to submit a photo that they had taken during lockdown, aimed to capture and document the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation.
The book has been put together with support from The Co-op, which helped run the community exhibitions on billboards and outdoor poster sites in 80 towns, cities and areas last October. The final 100 images were first displayed in a digital exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery’s website.
Hold Still: A Portrait Of Our Nation in 2020, £20.75, Amazon
Net proceeds raised from the sale of the book will be split between leading mental health charity Mind, and the National Portrait Gallery. The funds will help to support arts and mental health projects across the UK, including Mind’s work in local communities and the National Portrait Gallery’s education and community projects.