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Kate speaks about life under lockdown as she launches photography project

The Duchess of Cambridge has teamed up with the National Portrait Gallery to launch the Hold Still initiative.

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Kate talked about her new photographic project on ITV’s This Morning (Kensington Palace/PA)

Kate talked about her new photographic project on ITV’s This Morning (Kensington Palace/PA)

Kate talked about her new photographic project on ITV’s This Morning (Kensington Palace/PA)

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed details about her life under lockdown as she launched a project to inspire the nation to photograph their experiences.

Kate said she keeps in daily contact with family members via video calls and joked about the challenges of home schooling three children – including Prince George’s interest in spider sandwiches.

The duchess wants budding photographers and those who have never picked up a camera to take pictures for her Hold Still initiative – being run with the National Portrait Gallery – to “document and share a moment in time” that has been dubbed the “new normal”.

Interviewed on ITV’s This Morning show, Kate was asked about home schooling and mentioned the popular book Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman and how her eldest son finds it more interesting than than his school tasks.

She said: “George gets very upset because he just wants to do all of Charlotte’s projects. Spider sandwiches are far cooler than literacy work.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they chatted to the Queen via a video call to celebrate her 94th birthday in April, and Kate says she regularly chats face-to-face with loved ones via the internet.

She said: “ … we hadn’t done a huge amount of FaceTime and face calls and things like that, but obviously we’re doing that a lot more now and actually it’s been really great.

“We try and check in daily with family members and speak to them about news and things like that.

“In some ways I suppose we’ve got a lot more contact and a lot more face time than perhaps we would’ve done before.”

Speaking about discussing social distancing measures with her children George, six, Princess Charlotte, five, and two-year-old Prince Louis, the duchess added: “But it is difficult, it’s hard to explain to a five and a six, nearly seven-year-old, what’s going on.

“But the schools are being great at supporting them as well. Hard times, but we’ve got the support out there I think.”

The UK is now in its seventh week of social distancing measures that have left towns and cities deserted and much of working life on hold, but also seen key workers praised for keeping essential services running, with tributes paid to health and care staff supporting tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients.

Kate said she hoped her project would encourage people to take a snapshot of life at this particular moment.

“There’s lots of images of clinical settings and of the community spirit, but actually there’s not that much imagery of what people are experiencing back home in isolation in their own homes and things like that,” she said.

“Life has changed totally for all of us and actually to be able to see what people are living through and going though at this time, I think would be great.”

Kate revealed her children are the inspiration behind her own photography and when asked for tips by This Morning co-presenter Holly Willoughby she laughed as she said: “Well, I’m very much an amateur photographer, I sort of learn along the way.

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Kate has said she is inspired to take pictures of her children (Duchess of Cambridge/PA)

Kate has said she is inspired to take pictures of her children (Duchess of Cambridge/PA)

PA

Kate has said she is inspired to take pictures of her children (Duchess of Cambridge/PA)

“But actually, during this time, I have spent lots of time picking up my camera and taking photographs of the children because they are always around us and we are doing stuff together, which has been great.”

Commenting on the pictures she took of son Louis’s paint-covered hands to mark his second birthday in April, the duchess joked: “I should’ve taken a photograph of what I looked like after as well. Luckily, that wasn’t documented but I was pretty much, I looked like Louis at the end of those.”

And speaking about her birthday photographs of Charlotte, helping to deliver pasta to elderly people on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, Kate said: “Again, this was part of a collection, that photograph particularly of Charlotte was part of a collection to try and tell a story.

“And that’s really what we hope people will take inspiration through this project, is really just to try and tell their part of a story from a personal level to try and help showcase and share what they’re going through.”

The duchess – who supports the National Portrait Gallery as patron – will help to curate 100 of the entries, chosen for the emotion or experiences they express rather then their expertise, with the photographs going on virtual display before a selection are shown across the UK later in the year.

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