© Reuters. Special exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria marks this year’s Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Monday congratulated entrants to Hold Still, a photography project launched by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton to capture a snapshot of the nation in coronavirus lockdown.

The project received more than 30,000 submissions, from which Kate and four other judges picked 100 final images that will be published online by the National Portrait Gallery on Monday.

“The Duchess of Cambridge and I were inspired to see how the photographs have captured the resilience of the British people at such a challenging time, whether that is through celebrating frontline workers, recognising community spirit or showing the efforts of individuals supporting those in need,” the queen said in a letter to entrants.

Since its launch in May, the project invited people of all ages from across Britain to submit a photographic portrait they had taken during the COVID-19 lockdown that started in March.

Focused on three main themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness, some of the photographs will also go on show in towns and cities across Britain later in the year.

Kate – wife of Prince William and a keen photographer herself – and other members of the panel assessed the images on the emotions and experiences they convey rather than on their photographic quality or technical expertise.

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