Kensington Palace has released behind-the-scenes photos of the Duchess of Cambridge as she took photographs of two Holocaust survivors, Steven Frank and Yvonne Bernstein, earlier this month In the new black and white images, Kate shares a moment with 82-year-old Yvonne as they look over the portraits on a computer and in another, the pair sit down for tea in the Cambridges' London residence. In the middle snap, the Duchess, wearing a black roll neck and tartan midi skirt, stands and chats with Steven, 84, and his granddaughters, Maggie and Trixie Fleet, aged 15 and 13.
Kate, who took the photographs at Kensington Palace, said she was inspired to take the images by her childhood reading of The Diary of Anne Frank, and said the stories of those who survived the Nazi genocide of European Jews should "never be forgotten".
The Duchess captured Yvonne and her granddaughter Chloe Wright, 11, looking at Yvonne's German ID card, stamped with a J to mark her out as a Jew. On the table is a brooch made by the jewellery firm founded by her great-grandfather, which was taken over by the Nazis.
Amsterdam-born Steven survived the Westerbork and Theresienstadt concentration camps. He is pictured holding a pan his mother used to help feed him and his brothers in the camps and a tomato from his garden. As a child he helped another prisoner grow tomatoes in Theresienstadt.
Yvonne with her granddaughter Chloe in an image taken by the Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess's portraits will form part of an exhibition by the Royal Photographic Society, The Jewish News and the Holocaust Memorial Trust later this year, bringing together 75 powerful images of survivors and their family members with the aim of honouring the victims of the Holocaust and celebrating the full lives that survivors have built in the UK.
Mum-of-three Kate said: "The harrowing atrocities of the Holocaust, which were caused by the most unthinkable evil, will forever lay heavy in our hearts. Yet it is so often through the most unimaginable adversity that the most remarkable people flourish. Despite unbelievable trauma at the start of their lives, Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank are two of the most life-affirming people that I have had the privilege to meet. They look back on their experiences with sadness but also with gratitude that they were some of the lucky few to make it through. Their stories will stay with me forever."
Steven with his granddaughters in an image taken by the Duchess of Cambridge
Kate is an accomplished photographer and studied art history at the University of Andrews. As well as taking personal family snaps of her children to mark special occasions such as their birthdays and milestones, the Duchess' images from her visit to the Borneo rainforest in 2012 and of a local family in the Hindu Kush mountains last year have also been published. Kate was given a lifetime honorary membership of the Royal Photographic Society for her family portraits and tour photos in 2017 and became their patron in June 2018. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the UK Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony in Westminster on Monday.
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