Duchess of Cambridge's new photography book captures stories of the pandemic

Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton is seen with a Fujifilm X-T3 and a 23mm f/1.4 lens in the new NPG book (Image credit: Getty Images)

UPDATE: The new photography book by The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is now available.

, published by the National Portrait Gallery (for which the Duchess is patron), documents the realities of the pandemic through photos of the people who lived through it. 

The official Twitter profile of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posted a quick look at the book, which you can see in the video below. Much was made of Kate's official portrait used in Hold Still, which sees her holding her trusty Fujifilm X-T3 camera – a more deliberate tool than the Canon PowerShots she is often seen with.

• Read more: Best books on photography

“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," writes the Duchess in he foreword to the book. 

“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.

“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.”

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ORIGINAL STORY (29 Mar): A new picture of Kate Middleton has just been released showing her using a Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera. The new portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge is to be used in the foreword of a book to be published by the National Portrait Gallery of 100 portraits that were shot for by the public during last year's Covid lockdown.

The portrait of Kate shows her using the Fujifilm X-T3 with a 23mm f/1.4 Fujinon prime lens – and was shot by pro photographer Matt Porteous, who has often photographed the Duchess and her three children.

Kate has in recent years favored using an old Canon Powershot G12 compact camera on her travels and for pictures of her family – so the move to mirrorless is an interesting one. Before using the G12, she is known to have used a Canon EOS 5D Mk II full-frame DSLR for her portraits. She is well know for her interest and skill as a photographer - and took over from the Queen as patron of the Royal Photographic Society in 2019.

(Image credit: National Portrait Gallery)

Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020 is the book that accompanies the community photographic project run by the National Portrait Gallery, where the Duchess is also a patron. 

The Gallery invited people of all ages to submit a photographic portrait, taken in a six-week period during May and June, focussed on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.  Over 31,000 submissions were received, with entrants ranging from 4 to 75 years-old. 

From these, a panel of judges selected 100 portraits, assessing the images on the emotions and experiences they conveyed. After a virtual exhibition last year, the book of the images is to be published in 07 May – which will be the anniversary of the project's launch. If you can't wait until then, you can explore the 100 images at the online gallery right now.

Kate Middleton has been seen regularly with her Canon PowerShot G12 since 2011 (Image credit: Getty Images)

“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,” writes the Duchess in her foreword. 

"I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak to some of the photographers and sitters, to hear their stories first-hand – from moments of joy, love and community spirit, to deep sadness, pain, isolation and loss".

Foreword to Hold Still was written by HRH Duchess of Cambridge (Image credit: Getty Images)

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Best books on photography
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Fujifilm X-T3 review

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.