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Duchess Kate Pens Touching Message for New Photo Book Documenting COVID Lockdown in Britain

The people’s perspective. Duchess Kate announced her participation in the publication of a new book, Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, which captures the spirit of Britain amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Related: Duchess Kate Through the Years: From Commoner to Future Queen Consort

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, penned a heartfelt foreword for the photo book, which is made up of 100 portraits and corresponding stories that show the many faces of the U.K. people living and working through the worldwide pandemic.

“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,” Kate wrote in the book’s foreword, sharing why the project resonated with her. “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.”

Duchess Kate Pens Touching Message for New Photo Book Documenting COVID Lockdown in Britain
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visits the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity, Natural History Museum in London on October 9, 2019. Shutterstock

Kate, who shares three children, Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, with Prince William, shared her message with fans via social media on Sunday, March 28, ahead of the book’s release.

“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 continued. “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.”

Related: The Royal Family’s Most Candid Quotes About Their Mental Health Struggles

The funds raised from the book — which is available for preorder now and hits U.K. bookshops on Friday, May 7 — will be split between mental health organization Mind Charity and the National Portrait Gallery.

Both Kate and husband William, 38, have been vocal over the past year about helping those affected by the pandemic, visiting hospitals, virtually speaking with caregivers and honoring families of those who lost loved ones as much as possible.

Last month, the couple chatted with U.K. nursing students to see what it’s really been like for them amid the health crisis. During their Zoom conversation, they commended the students from Ulster University in Northern Ireland for all their hard work. They also showed off a rare glimpse of their family photos in the background — many of which Kate took.

The duchess has continually stepped behind the lens since becoming a mother. She often shoots her children’s birthday portraits and snapshots of her little ones with William.

In addition to fulfilling her royal duties, Kate has been trying to navigate the fallout over her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle’s explosive tell-all interview which aired earlier this month.

During the sit-down, the couple claimed that the royal family didn’t support them against the U.K. press, and Meghan, 39, pointed to a story about Kate in which she allegedly made the former actress cry over a bridesmaid dress issue in May 2018. The pair also spoke about racism toward Meghan and their 22-month-old son, Archie.

Related: See Prince William and Duchess Kate's Best Royal Family Fashion Moments

“The interview was particularly difficult for Kate to digest, but she’s pulled herself together and is staying strong for the royal family and her children,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, March 25. “Kate’s an extremely protective mother and while she’s all about open communication, George, Charlotte and Louis are still young.”

The insider added that Kate is “one of the most dignified women you’ll ever meet” and is “strong enough” to weather the storm that has followed Harry, 36, and Meghan’s allegations against the royals.

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