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The Queen lends support to Kate Middleton's special project

Her Majesty praised the Hold Still photography competition

kate and the queen
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
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The Queen has congratulated the 31,598 people who entered the Duchess of Cambridge's Hold Still photography competition for capturing "the resilience of the British People at such a challenging time."

Kate shared some of the moving portraits with Her Majesty last month including Holding Tight, taken on VE Day by Katy Rudd and Joe Wyer, Thank You – five-year-old Amelia May dressed as a nurse – by Wendy Huson and The Look of Lockdown a portrait of her friend Pepter by Carlotta Cutrupi.

WATCH: The Duchess of Cambridge shares moving images from Hold Still project

Writing from Balmoral, where the two women spent time together in August, the monarch said: "It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to look through a number of the portraits that made the final 100 images for the Hold Still photography project.

READ: The secret behind Kate Middleton's personal family photos – the cameras and lens she uses and why

Thank you by Wendy Huson

Thank you by Wendy Huson

"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 Duchess of Cambridge and I send our best wishes and congratulations to all those who submitted a portrait to the project."

The striking images, all taken in a six-week period over May and June, document people's shared and individual experiences of lockdown.

Sami by Grey Hutton

Sami by Grey Hutton

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In a statement, Kensington Palace said: "The images present a unique record of our shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history, conveying humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope."

The final 100 are now part of a virtual exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery's website. A selection will also be shown in towns and cities across the UK later in the year. To view the digital exhibition, visit:

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