The Duchess in McQueen for ‘Hold Still’ community Launch

The Duchess was in a vibrant red coat by Alexander McQueen for Hold Still events in London today. 

Hold Still is the project the Duchess curated with the national portrait Gallery. Launched in May, Hold Still was designed to create a photographic snapshot of the UK during the pandemic, using pictures taken by the public. much more than 31,500 images were submitted, and 100 were selected to be part of an online exhibit; they are also being featured on posters and billboards in community exhibits around the UK.

The couple visited Waterloo in south London today to mark the launch of those community exhibits.

There are portraits in much more than eighty locations.

Via Co-Operate (Click image to visit page)

You can see where the posters and billboards are located through an interactive map posted on the Co-Operate site.

Kate and William met Sami Massalami Mohammed Elmassalami Ayad (second from right), featured in one of the 100 portraits.

You may remember this image of the community volunteer from a previous post. It is titled Sami and was shot on his first day of volunteering at the Children With Voices community Food Hub in Hackney, London, by Grey Hutton.

In this video, you see the Duke and Duchess chatting with Mr. Ayad at the community food hub in Hackney.

much more about the encounter from The Sun’s story: 

Sami said: “It was such a delight to meet the Duke and Duchess and I can’t believe my picture made it to the final 100. 

“I didn’t even know it was being submitted by my colleague at the food hub so it came as a massive shock when I got a call from the national portrait Gallery saying the Duchess wanted to speak to me. 

“She called me a few weeks ago and we had such a beautiful conversation. She told me how she wanted to build a snapshot of how Britain was coping in the pandemic, but to show all sides of what people have gone through and are still going through.”

Back to The Sun’s coverage: 

Sami, who is visiting the UK until October while studying for a PHD in London, said: “The Duchess came across as really caring and dedicated, I was so impressed she took the time to call me. 

“I told her about the work they do at the food hub, and she agreed it’s such a important project. I was lucky enough to help out there for a couple of months but they always need help throughout the year.”

Sami told William his colleague submitted the picture of him standing in the garden with his apron on without him knowing, to which the Duke laughed loudly and replied: “oh that’s great, you didn’t know at all? Love it. That’s brilliant.”

You can just see Mr. Ayad on the far left in this photo shared by Roya Nikkhah of The Sunday Times.  In the center, Nicholas Cullinan, director of the portrait Gallery. 

Kate and William then visited St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where they met Joyce Duah and other frontline healthcare workers.  Ms. Duah is an oncology pharmacist at the hospital, and her photograph was selected as one of the 100 final portraits.

The photo submitted by Ms. Duah, We’re All in This Together. 


From Ms. Duah’s description of the photo: 

My portrait is of Amelia and Dipal, 2 of my numerous colleagues who have been drafted-in to work on our Intensive care Unit. They have been working hard as pharmacy technicians, delivering important medication multiple times a day to ITU. I’ve watched Amelia and Dipal with such admiration for what they are doing and much more importantly their positive attitudes. They spend their precious lunch breaks encouraging each other with humour and I think they are so brave.

I decided I wanted to use my photography skills to file some of their journey. I asked Amelia if she would mind if I took some pictures of them donning their PPE and she happily accepted. I’m so happy of the team and all they do and it’s been a privilege to capture their journey during this historic time. One of their practices is to write their names on their gowns so that colleagues are able to recognise each other under their PPE and to help the patients who are conscious to feel closer to their carers.

In this video, you see the duo with Ms. Duah and Amelia Chowdhury, and Dipal Samuel.  

another view of the couple. 

More about this meeting from Victoria Ward’s piece in The Telegraph. 

The Duchess told them: “Thank you so much for the image. It had such an impact it captured the moment, it was a look behind the scenes.

“The story of what you experienced is so important.”

The Duke added: “It is essential for history purposes to show that actually happened.”

Ms Samuel told William and Kate: “It will go down in history. When children are doing history or biology, they can have these photographs of mum doing this.

The couple chatting with health care workers at the hospital. 

Another view of the royals.

We turn now to our look at what Kate wore for today’s engagements. 

The Duchess’s Alexander McQueen coat is a double-breasted style with top lapels, front flap pockets, contrasting black buttons at the cuff, and front closure.  The closest current style I can find is this design at Farfetch, the label’s Double-Breasted Asymmetric coat ($4950) in a wool/cashmere blend, minus the draped fabric on the side. 

Valerie posted a suggestion on Twitter that Kate might be wearing a Massimo Dutti skirt below the coat, the Pleated Skirt with Buckle detail ($119). 

Couture Royals tweeted that Massimo Dutti confirms it is this skirt. I have an email out to the company for verification and clarification on color. I have posted a few repliKates here.

UPDATE October 28: I have not heard back from Inditex, owners of Massimo Dutti (as well as Zara), but that is not unusual. The much more I have thought about the piece and talked with friends, the less I believe the skirt is the Massimo Dutti style. A friend suggests it might be the Zara Pleated Skirt in Black ($39.90), which makes much more sense to me, especially the color.

Kate’s bag appears to be the ‘Love Letter’ Top-Handled Bag in the small size ($2060) by Grace Han.  

The bag’s “distinctive envelope closure is an ode to Love Letters of the past present and future” per the product description. Made of calfskin, the bag has a detachable take on strap, magnetic snap closure, and goldtone metal feet. It measures 9.5″ x 7.5″ x about 3.5″ wide. numerous thanks to Caroline Parr for her speedy ID of this piece. 

The Duchess sported her oft-worn Piper 85 Pumps ($695) by Gianvito Rossi. 

The pump is a point-toe style with a block heel that measures 3.5″. (We have some repliKate options here.)  

The Duchess wore a mask by Amaia Kids.

It looks like the Yellow Pepper style (£15, about $19).

Kate wore a pair of earrings we’d not seen before. Stephanie Champion-Helton suggested the Duchess was wearing the Gold/Diamond Luxury Maxi Cupid Hoop Earrings ($3300) by Daniella Draper, and I think she is spot-on with the ID. 

The earrings are gold with three diamonds, measuring about an inch in diameter.  

NOTE: There are also photos of the Duke and Duchess shooting the pride of Britain awards with TV presenter Kate Garraway at St. Bartholomew’s medical facility today. I will update the post with those photos when they are available. Below, a tweet from Rebecca English of the shoot; this story has the photos.  The daily Mail reports, “The royal couple appeared to be being interviewed for the pride of Britain Awards later this month. This will be the first time Kate has been involved in the awards, while William last attended the ceremony in 2017.” 

UPDATE 6:30 pm: I have been unable to find photos other than those shown in the daily Mail story. It’s possible they are embargoed until the awards are broadcast on television. 

Kate appears to be wearing her Smythe One-Button Blazer, now called the Duchess Blazer ($695). 

 It also looks like she has on her Spells of Love Alia Hoop Earrings (£62 available for pre-order), shown below as worn on other occasions.


The Royal family channel has about 3:30 of raw video in this clip. 

This clip is from the St. Batholomew’s visit. 



Click here to view the NPG Hold Still microsite; click here to see the gallery of images; information on the community exhibition is here; the Co-Operate interactive map is here.   

The Mirror’s story by Russell Myers is here; The evening Standard’s short article is here; The daily Mail’s coverage from Harriet Johnston is here; The Telegraph’s story is here; The express short article is here.

A piece by Emily Nash for hi is here; Simon Perry’s people story is here. 



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