Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Duchess Kate in Self-Portrait for Hold Still Event & Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers

The Duchess of Cambridge hosted a palace reception this evening for Hold Still partners.

News of the event was shared with two images by Kensington Palace. The accompanying message read: "Thank you to the brilliant partners who made Hold Still a reality! It took a long time to bring everyone behind this incredible project together in person but tonight we finally managed it. The idea for #HoldStill2020 came right at the start of the pandemic, and aimed to bring people and communities together, using the amazing power of photography. It was made possible by so many partners -National Portrait Gallery, Co-Op UK and Book Fairieis - to name just a few, and what’s more remarkable is how it was all orchestrated from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms!" The caption added: "The most special thanks must go to the thousands of people across the country who took time to share their experiences of lockdown. Without them, the project really would not have been possible."

The exhibition -- in collaboration with Kate's patronage the National Portrait Gallery -- captured the mood of the nation during the pandemic through the lens of three themes: Acts of Kindness, Your New Normal, and Helpers and Heroes. With over 30,000 submissions, the Duchess said she was "overwhelmed" by the response.

Presenting several images exclusively for The Sunday Times, Kate wrote: "Throughout recent history, photographs have recorded people’s lives and experiences — telling not just an individual’s story, but also documenting significant moments for families, communities, nations and the world as a whole. The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in some way, and I launched Hold Still with the National Portrait Gallery to give everyone an opportunity to share their own stories, so that together we could create a collective portrait of our nation that would record our experiences during lockdown."

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery told the Mail: "The public response to Hold Still, which was spearheaded by our Patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been phenomenal. The photographs submitted have helped to create a unifying and cathartic portrait of life in lockdown. We are honoured to have been able to share a selection of these photographs with the nation, first through the online and community exhibition and now through this new publication. The proceeds raised from the book will help us to continue to care for and share our national Collection and to provide free access, inspiration and learning, through the work we do at the Gallery and our UK wide community and education projects." Proceeds from the book were shared between the NPG and the UK's leading mental health charity, Mind.

"These images remind us that, as families, communities and a nation we need each other more than we had ever realised." - HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess selected a sophisticated midi dress by Self-Portrait.

The Cream Tailored Boucle And Chiffon Midi Dress retails for £400. The piece features a blazer style fitted bodice and a pleated midi skirt. A sleeveless version is available at 24s.


A closer look at the fabric.

The piece is available in black crepe at Matches Fashion.


Kate wore her hair in a ponytail and accessorised with statement earrings. If high-res photos emerge, I'll update immediately.

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Also tonight, an update on Kate's knit top from yesterday. The piece was identified by Middleton Maven as a Boden top.

The $140 piece is described: "We decided to go the extra mile and knit this simple T-shirt style with cosy cashmere. Well, we actually went further, sourcing the supersoft yarn from Inner Mongolia. Short sleeves and a semi-fitted shape make it a versatile layering piece that's ideal for every season. It features rib detailing across the neck, cuffs and hem." The piece comes in a variety of colours including black, pink, green, yellow and aquamarine blue on the Boden website.

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Last but certainly not least, Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers aired tonight on BBC One. It was a beautifully made piece celebrating the late Duke as a husband, father and grandfather. It's filled with personal footage and treasured memories. And on that note, enough from me. Enjoy it while it's available on YouTube (if possible, watch it quickly as it will likely be removed soon).

32 comments:

  1. Sarah from California23 September 2021 at 00:22

    Love it!!!

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  2. Hold still has been a huge success for the Duchess. Showing the very best of the best during this current crisis. She looked beautiful tonight. At a guess I would say new earrings and necklace. Looking forward to seeing her on the red carpet next week. S. ☺

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  3. I love the Hold Still project. Fantastic that the organisers got a thank you. I wish they could arrange a set of summer parties throughout the country next year (very much like the Queen’s) and invite the winners or maybe even all that contributed. In the end- the Photos are very personal and touching, the photographers should receive a special thank you as well, because without such a strong quality and quantity the whole project could have tanked spectacularly.
    The look is somewhat different for Kate. We haven’t see the blazer+skirt combo a lot with her. Unsure if I like it because, again, the blazer cut stretched her torso in an unflattering way. But I love how she stands out in white against the crowd.
    Normally I would be absolutely excited about her dress fie the premiere but we haven’t exact seen eye to eye in terms of fashion for some time now, so I don’t want to get my hopes up. Those caped examples with a big up do would be utterly cool and fashion forward, er white self portrait, white high neck with slit or the black velvet went the other route. Rather sleek and classic. Both options would be nice but I fear we might see another midi length, to bulky top and high neckline without something to balance it out.
    C.

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  4. Absolutely love it! She looks stunning! The choice of self-portrait is fitting and so very Kate. Love the different style.

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    1. I agree with you Lize, LOVE it! It's a different look for Kate but it suits her especially how she has styled her hair, her jewelry, stunning!! I read somewhere that the dress reminded them of a mullet,'business on top, party on the bottom'....lol. It's in style right now, but our Duchess has done it very tastefully and the white works very well for her, she just always seems to hit the right notes and look appropriate, regardless of whether or not you agree with her choices.

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  5. I bought Hold Still in the US. Wonderful book and all of the publicity around it has been warm and caring. Wish we could have some kind of come together moment like that in the US. There was a photo of an exhausted ER nurse in Idaho this morning that was so reminiscent of the cover of Hold Still. Tragic that people won’t get vaccinated.
    I have been traveling in the UK and Europe this week. It’s wonderful to be back even though things are far more challenging with testing, and the COVID procedures. But I am not going to complain, I am here and saw my elderly relatives and went to Royal Albert Hall and St Martin in the Fields for concerts. So thankful! And happy I get to read Kate and William news as it happens :)

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    1. I bought the Hold Still book as well Valerie and it was so inspiring to me that I bought another and put it in the lobby of the building I live in with a note for people to look at it and pass it on. It has been a huge success with much sharing amongst everybody. It would have been nice if the US had such an initiative but the book just memorializes that this was/is a universal experience and we can all relate to it in some manner. So happy to hear that you are traveling, gives hope that we are moving back to a world we can enjoy!!

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    2. I got Hold Still for my birthday in June and have gone through it several times since then. I also lent it to friends.
      How lovely you have been able to travel, Valerie!! I'm happy for you - seeing the relatives and attending the concerts must have been great! 😍

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  6. Wonderful project and Catherine looks lovely.

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  7. I thought the design of the blazer over the flowy skirt was a bit odd at first, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. Of note, I attended a very chic wedding this past weekend,
    and several of the guest's gowns were this sheer overlay with a skirt lining, so i suppose it's very stylish right now. Adore the color on her, either way...I've always said she looks like an angel in white.

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  8. Flora, Oxenholme, UK23 September 2021 at 13:34

    Thanks Charl. It's partly consolation but it was 100 he did live, the blessed century 1921 to 2021, <3

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  9. Wow I love the duchess I also bought the hold still book it's amazing to see the photos during the pandemic I adore the color of outfiys

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  10. Thanks for the link to the PP piece. It was definitely lovely to get so many personal remarks. I found it very striking how prominent Wiliam was featured, and he did a fantastic job. But sadly this piece contained very little information beyond that. His projects and life was always only briefly touched. As someone only "knowing" from afar, that is very little content. It sounded like perfect family bliss, when we do know by older remarks of some of them that it wasn't exactly like that. Or at least, that is what they have openly said or insinuated. So it leaves a small taste of PR. Which is fine, all of those pieces are, but I wish there had been more.

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    1. I had the opposite reaction. I like that the emphasis was on the person, his character, his personality and not only his achievements or his life. I didn't know a lot about him, now I feel I know him much better. Also I must say I like him a lot. Of course you only say positive things about someone who just died but I think they all were genuinely fond of him.

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    2. @Natacha -I think I wished for more than just the personal angle. While the anecdotes where new, if you had looked to him many things were already quite well known. He was an intriguing personality, and while not flashy many have been very interested in him. So there are some good documentaries out there that also looked very much into his character and personality. I was surprised how much time he managed to put into the family and that was lovely to hear.
      Agree about the "saying nice things about the dead". I just found it a bit brushed over that it is very well known for example that PC wasn't too happy in his younger years and suffered from PP harder approach. I mean, that is what PC has said himself. I think you can easily hint to those difficulties without slamming PP or anything.

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  11. I love the Hold Still project and am glad the DoC and partners were able to get together to celebrate it in person. On a fashion note, while Kate looks marvelous as she always does, I'm not sure I like the dress. I thought it was 2 separate pieces, which I didn't think went together, but that it is a dress is a bit more odd. Still, she wears it well.

    It's been so nice to see Kate out and about again after so long!

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    1. I agree about Hold Still: fantastic. And about the dress: not my favorite. But she looks great in it.

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  12. Fun that Self Portrait is used for a photography gathering! It's a little different for Kate but I love it. I hope she bought the black version too! The ponytail looks very good on her. I did watch the link, thanks for providing it. What I was struck by is Eugenie's beautiful voice!! I have never heard her speak but she just came across as such a beautiful woman.

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  13. Hold still is a nice idea but that white dress is a total failure in my book.

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  14. Wonderful reception. Catherine looks lovely. I really like the outfit and it works wonderfully for the event.

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  15. Tammy from California23 September 2021 at 18:00

    Ant ID on the earrings The Duchess wore for the Hold Still gathering?

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  16. This book was a great idea. I love her outfit she is really standing out from this great room everything red. The white is fantastic. She has really grown into her job.

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  17. Kate makes me smile when she does things like choose "Self Portrait" to dress in for a photography-themed event. Nicely done!

    I watched the Prince Philip documentary and learned a number of interesting things about the man. He had much more depth, brilliance, imagination, creativity, and all-round excellence in his character than I knew before. Admittedly, I didn't know that much about him, but he seems a modern sort of Renaissance Man to me after watching this. I particularly liked his answer to an interviewer about his "role"--that he wasn't playing a "role"; he was living his life and dealing with its circumstances in the very best way he could devise. That's a successful person.

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    1. He was a dashing man, wasn't he?

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    2. Exactly, Marci Andy - that answer of Prince Philip was great! The whole documentary is precious. Thank you, Charlotte, for making it accessible for us! I probably wouldn't find it in time without you.

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  18. A little tangent: I just finished Michelle Obama’s memoir and I was struck by how similar some of the themes were to Kate’s life story. Mrs Obama writes a lot about how he husband opted for a very public profile, and she had to make a lot of adjustments to accommodate that, while still holding fast to her #1 goal (being a loving, hands on, protective mom) and also carving out a meaningful career in an authentic way. Of course, the situation isn’t exactly the same, as Kate knew from the moment she met William what kind of high profile life she would have if she chose to be with him, whereas Michelle had to warm up to Mr Obama’s ambitions. But in some ways that makes Kate’s path the braver one - she had to have the grace and fortitude to plunge into the relationship all the while learning to be a good partner.

    It’s just remarkable to me how perfectly suited Kate seems to be, figuring out how to make an impact to a number of causes, staying warm and genuine throughout all her engagements.

    That being said, the dress at the Hold Still reception is inching onto my Least Favorite looks. Maybe without that lacy underlay it would work better, but as it is, it looks like she threw a blazer on over a nightgown. Or her slip lost its elastic waistband and dropped down below her skirt.

    Love seeing her back in the swing of things though!

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  19. I really like Kate's look at this wonderful event. What an interesting ensemble, and she carries it off!! Hold Still is quite an accomplishment. Bravo! Truly lovely.

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  20. I haven’t commented in awhile but always read all your posts Charlotte!!

    I saw a stock picture of this dress before I saw the pictures of the Duchess at the reception. When I saw the stock pictures ..I wrinkled my nose. Quite literally. But as is often the case Kate makes this work. On her…I absolutely love it!! It walks that fine line of professional but an evening event. I would love to know which shoes she paired with it. And I always love a Kate ponytail. So for me a big win.

    Still need to get myself a copy of Hold Still. All of your amazing comments has reminded me to do that!

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  21. Thank You! For adding the video to your webpage. The purpose of me uploading it to YouTube was so that people who are unable to access the BBC can watch it.

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  22. How Absolutely Amazing & Wonderful! Full Stop! xoxo
    Thank you Charlotte for posting & letting all of us outside the UK see it! xo

    BeccaUSA

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  23. Love this Self Portrait dress/dress & blazer. To be fair I nearly always love their clothes, if not always. They manage to be “of the moment” without being too extreme. It may be my imagination, but she seems to have moved away from the staid, utterly aging & predicable clothing to a more modern look. I hope she keeps it up!

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