The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid tribute to NHS workers in a special visit to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where they launched the Duchess' community photography exhibition, Hold Still.
The Royal couple met Joyce Duah, a keen amateur photographer and specialist oncology pharmacist, whose image was shortlisted in the national competition.
The picture was taken in May during Joyce’s lunch break and features pharmacy technicians Amelia Chowdhury and Dipal Samuel, who were redeployed to intensive care at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amelia and Dipal joined their friend and colleague to meet the Duke and Duchess in the hospital’s Princess Alice Garden.
The event coincided with Pharmacy Technician Day, an annual celebration of pharmacy staff working on the frontline.
The Hold Still community exhibition, which launched today, is a unique collection of portraits of the UK during the coronavirus lockdown.
A judging panel comprising Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery; poet Lemn Sissay; Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England; photographer Maryam Wahid; and the Duchess whittled over 30,000 submissions down to 100 'finalists' whose work will now go on display in a digital exhibition.
Joyce’s picture will feature in a number of locations around the capital, including in Croydon and Mitcham.
Speaking about her image, which is called All In This Together, Joyce said: “Amelia and Dipal have been working hard as pharmacy technicians, delivering vital medication multiple times a day to ICU.
"I've watched them with such admiration for what they are doing and more importantly their positive attitudes.
“They spend their precious lunch breaks encouraging each other with humour and I think they are so brave. I decided I wanted to use my photography skills to document some of their journey.
“I'm so proud of the team and all they do and it's been a privilege to capture their journey during this historic time.
“One of their practices is to write their names on their gowns so that colleagues are able to recognise each other under their PPE and to help the patients who are conscious to feel closer to their carers.”
During their visit to Britain’s oldest hospital, William and Kate also met with head of pharmacy Sotiris Antoniou, medical oncology registrar Dr Myria Galazi and respiratory physio Isobel Fale, all of whom have played a key role in the NHS response to the outbreak.
At the end of their visit, the Duke and Duchess met with hospital staff gathered in the hospital square to thank them for their efforts throughout the pandemic.
Prince William told the the mask-wearing crowd: "Thank you for your incredible efforts over the past few months."
To find out more about the Hold Still exhibition, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
Further information about our pharmacy services is available on the Barts Health website.
Picture credits: Joyce Duah, Kensington Palace