Kate Middleton launches charity book days after Meghan Markle's tome for kids came out

THE Duchess of Cambridge launched her ­charity book of photos capturing life during the pandemic yesterday — just days after Meghan’s tome for kids came out.

Kate, 39, left a copy of Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation outside Kensington Palace, one of 150 to be placed at hidden locations across the UK.

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She posted a message inviting the public to seek them out, writing: “Let the search begin.”

In what some believe may have been a cheeky nod to Meghan’s book The Bench — inspired by Harry’s relationship with Archie, two — one was put on a public seat in Gateshead.

Kate wore an ankle-length red coat yesterday as she launched her book — exactly a year after she started the project to document life in the pandemic.

People from across the UK submitted photos for the publication.

Kate herself a keen photographer, was sent 31,000 entries, which she whittled down to 100.

She put a signed note in the books left up and down the UK which read: “The images tell the stories of the challenges we all faced, but also how we came together in the most extraordinary of times.”

The message asks finders to put the book elsewhere locally after they have leafed through “for the next person to enjoy”.

Kate met several of those whose pictures she selected for the book on a trip to the National Portrait Gallery in London where the photos will go on display.

Lotti Sofia, 31, submitted an atmospheric snap of her housemate looking out of a window in lockdown.

Recalling the judging process, Kate told her: “I’ve got memories of all these thumbnails across my dining room table and I was like, please can we have a few more than 100. It’s about the stories. It’s about more than art.

“You would look at the image, then you would read the caption underneath.

"You felt like you had lived through the experience. That’s the power of photography.”

She added: “These are personal moments you have captured, and it’s a great thing to share them with the world.”

Mum-of-three Kate also chatted with NHS staff at The Royal London Hospital where the book’s front page image of a nurse entitled “Melanie, March 2020” will go on display.

Proceeds from the book will be split between mental health charity Mind and the National Portrait Gallery.

It was sold out last night on several websites.

The Duchess’ secret letter in full

Here’s what the Duchess of Cambridge has written inside the hidden books…

Dear Finder,

“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 am 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 very best wishes, 


H.R.H The Duchess of Cambridge

Meghan’s illustrated book, which she said was inspired by a poem she wrote to Harry after Archie’s birth, goes on sale next month.

The pregnant 39-year-old said on Tuesday that it took her two years to write.

Its price has already been slashed on Amazon.

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