Duchess Kate talks about shared love of photography with 'Hold Still' finalist: 'Mummy, please stop taking photographs'

By Heather Cichowski

Duchess Kate released the seventh and final moving phone call with a Hold Still finalist on June 10. The last conversation in the series revolves around the "Be Safe Daddy X" portrait.

The emotional photograph was taken by Ceri A. Edwards and shows her daughter, Poppy, hugging her dad, Mark, before he started his shift as a paramedic in Newport, South Wales. The little girl was very concerned with her daddy going to work during COVID-19, and made sure to give him a big hug before he left for his job each shift.

"Poppy loves a cuddle and this happened to be a special moment between them just before my husband left to go on a night shift," Ceri explained when she submitted the photo for the book.

During the call with Ceri, Duchess Kate heard about the family's experiences during COVID-19. She also got to talk to Poppy!

"It's such a sensitive and tender moment between a father and a daughter," Kate said on the phone.

"These simple moments have impacted so many and really resonated with so many across the country so thank you for sharing your photograph and your story."

Kate and Ceri also connected over their shared love of photography! At the beginning of the call, the duchess inquired if Ceri was a photographer.

"No. Well, Mark would say otherwise just because I do take a lot of photographs of the family," replied Ceri.

Keen photographer Kate holding a camera during a photography workshop with Action for Children in Kingston on June 25, 2019. Photo: © Matt Porteous via Getty Images

Mom of three Kate chuckled and responded, "It's like me. Everyone's like, 'Mummy, please stop taking photographs.'"

Ceri could relate.

"I know, but I love it. I love looking back. I think when you have children, time seems to go into warp speed, really, and it's just a lovely thing for me," she added. "You look back and see how much the children have grown."

Ceri said the pandemic has been a time everyone will remember, and she wonders whether people will look back on it and remember everything or "just the craziness of coronavirus."

"It's not all negative, I think, and I think that's why this [Hold Still] was so great," she explained, saying the period had forced them to do new things.

Last fall, the Duchess of Cambridge called a selection of the 100 finalists who appeared in Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020, and the conversations have been released in connection with the book's launch earlier this year. The goal was to hear stories about people's experiences with the coronavirus pandemic.

MORE: Duchess Kate hears touching story of community spirit in new call with 'Hold Still' finalist

In the sixth Hold Still call in the series released earlier this week, volunteer Sami Ayad told Kate about the inspiring community spirit in London's Hackney neighbourhood during the pandemic.

The PhD student had just moved to London with his girlfriend. After she tested positive for COVID-19 and they completed their two-week quarantine, he started volunteering at the Community Food Hub, which he could see from the window of his apartment.

It has been a joy to hear more about the finalists and their stories through the Duchess of Cambridge's phone calls with Hold Still finalists. The project has had a lasting impact on so many.

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