The Countess of Wessex contributed to Duchess Kate's 'Hold Still' photography project

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Zach Harper

Duchess Kate launched her Hold Still photography competition in connection with the National Portrait Gallery in the hopes it will get people across the United Kingdom to submit pictures they've taken during the coronavirus pandemic. Many have gotten involved, including the Countess of Wessex, who has submitted a photo in honour of Volunteers Week!

On June 4, the Royal Family shared images on Instagram of Sophie at Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. She and husband Prince Edward privately visited the mosque in May ahead of Eid and heard about some of the initiatives they were running during COVID-19, including its food bank.

View this post on Instagram

Packed with love . As part of #VolunteersWeek, The Countess of Wessex has contributed to The Duchess of Cambridge’s #HoldStill2020 photography project. @kensingtonroyal . “Ali helped to establish the Mosque’s food parcel delivery service for NHS workers, people self-isolating and other families in need, which has so far helped 400 households. . “Ali’s smile captures the enthusiasm for helping others that is so evident amongst the volunteers at the Mosque.” . ▶️盧 The Countess took this picture on her phone whilst volunteering with Ali and others at the @shahjahanmosque in Woking. . Launched in collaboration with the @NationalPortraitGallery to capture a snapshot of the people of the UK at this time, Hold Still aims to reflect the spirit of the nation during the Coronavirus outbreak. . The Duchess of Cambridge and the National Portrait Gallery are inviting you to submit your own photographic portrait through @kensingtonroyal’s link in bio. #HoldStill2020

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Countess Sophie used her Hold Still photography project submission to highlight Ali, who helped implement Shah Jahan Mosque's food delivery for NHS workers and other families in need. The service has already provided aid to 400 households thus far.

"Ali helped to establish the Mosque’s food parcel delivery service for NHS workers, people self-isolating and other families in need, which has so far helped 400 households," explained the Instagram post.

In the photos, volunteers including Ali appear hard at work packing supplies, such as food and toiletries. In one of the images, Sophie is seen taking a picture using her phone of Ali and the other volunteers.

"Ali’s smile captures the enthusiasm for helping others that is so evident amongst the volunteers at the Mosque," she explained.

The post also encouraged other U.K. residents to submit their photos to the Duchess of Cambridge and National Portrait Gallery's Hold Still project. Its aim is to capture the mood, hopes and fears of what the country is going through as it battles the coronavirus.

MORE: Duchess Kate launches photography competition to help people cope during coronavirus pandemic

One hundred entries will be included in a digital exhibition that will be held later this year and will hopefully be shown across the United Kingdom later this year, once the pandemic hopefully ends. If you're in the U.K. and want to enter, you can head to npg.org.uk. Photos can be submitted until June 18.

Kate has already highlighted some submissions on the Kensington Palace Instagram.

“We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country," the duchess wrote on May 7.

"Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable."

As of this writing, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reports there have been more than 6.5 million cases of COVID-19 confirmed in 188 countries and regions. The United Kingdom has over 283,000 of those cases. The illness has killed more than 387,000 people worldwide, but more than 2.8 million people have recovered from it so far.


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