Kate Middleton recently launched Hold Still photography campaign encouraging photographers to share their perspective of lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak through their pictures. The campaign received thousands of entries and the photographers were in for a surprise. The Duchess of Cambridge sent out surprise personal messages to many of the participants.

Earlier this month, as patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Kate Middleton announced a unique community photography project called Hold Still that aimed at capturing "the spirit, the hope, the fears & feelings of the UK" during the pandemic. The National Portrait Gallery London and the Duchess of Cambridge invited amateur photographers and citizens of the UK to submit their photographic portraits taken during these uncertain times based on themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal, and Act of Kindness.

According to Hello, the competition received whopping 7500 entries in the first week alone. The participants are using hashtags such as #HoldStill and #HoldStill2020. In response to this, Kate has been seen leaving comments and liking some of the posts through her official Kensington Palace Instagram account. For her signature in the comment, she is simply using the letter "C" to sign off, which is understood to be short for Catherine.

Her comments on the images left participants' thrilled.

"Love this! What a budding photographer! Please don't forget to submit your photo in the link bio if you haven't done so already. C," the royal mother commented on one of the entries.

Another one read: "a perfect example of Hold Still...the chance to re-engage and value the simple things around us. C."

Another picture that drew duchess' attention was of nurse Farrah Tanalgo who shared a picture of herself and colleague during the shift at Lister hospital. To this, Kate responded by saying "Verified. Thank you for sharing this great image. Please don't forget to submit your photo in the link bio if you haven't done so already. C."

Previously, this month, the duchess also handpicked some images that inspired the campaign and shared it on Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Instagram account.

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

The initiative was announced during Kate's surprise appearance on "This Morning" show whereby she introduced the campaign and informed show hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield all about it.

 Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton Getty Images/Eddie Mulholland

The closing date for submissions is June 18. One hundred shortlisted portraits will feature in a virtual exhibition hosted on the Gallery's website, sometime later this year.