Portraits marking The Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th Birthday displayed publicly for the first time in Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey

Taken by photographer Paolo Roversi in November 2021, three new portraits of The Duchess of Cambridge, released to mark the occasion of Her Royal Highness’ 40th birthday, have entered the permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Ahead of the Gallery’s re-opening in 2023, the photographs will be displayed at four venues in three respective locations across the UK – Berkshire, St Andrews and Anglesey.

The photographs feature as part of COMING HOME, a nationwide initiative which sees portraits of well-known individuals being sent to locations which they are closely associated with. The project has enabled works from the Gallery’s national Collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK, providing communities with the opportunity to see iconic works locally, while the Gallery remains closed for its Inspiring People redevelopment.

The Duchess has been Patron of the Gallery since 2012, one of the first patronages taken on after her marriage to Prince William, recognising her interest in photography and portraiture. The locations that Roversi’s three portraits are displayed in were selected in consultation with The Duchess herself, who has a special affinity to each. 

The photograph that depicts The Duchess seated, gazing to the left, will be displayed firstly at St James the Less Church from 22 March to 5 April 2022, then at Reading Museum from 7 April to 4 June 2022. The Church, situated in the village of Pangbourne, has welcomed the Middleton family as parishioners over several generations and the Reading Museum was chosen due to its proximity to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where The Duchess was born.

The photograph of The Duchess dressed in red will be displayed between 13 June and 30 September 2022 at the Wardlaw Museum, University of St Andrews, where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met while studying.

The third photograph in Roversi’s series shows The Duchess in a white dress, smiling straight at the camera. This portrait will be displayed at Anglesey’s Oriel Môn between 16 July and 2 October 2022, where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first lived together in their early years of marriage.

Paolo Roversi (b.1947) is one of the most highly respected and influential image makers of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Informed by a wide knowledge of the history of photography, his distinctive images have frequently been compared to nineteenth century practitioners such as Julia Margaret Cameron or Camille Silvy. At the same time Roversi has been an innovator who has mastered digital technologies and has continued to make exciting and visionary images photographing contemporary figures such as Rihanna, Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart. His work has been widely published and exhibited internationally and is held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  

A Unique Record of the Project

Featuring an introduction from The Duchess of Cambridge, this publication, supported by Co-op, includes the one hundred portraits selected for the Hold Still exhibition, creating a unique record of our shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history. Each of the photographs is accompanied by the story behind the picture told through the words of the entrants, offering a highly personal perspective on this unprecedented time. The publication also includes photographs of the nationwide exhibition and a text by judge Lemn Sissay.

The net proceeds from the sale of the book will be equally split to support the work of the National Portrait Gallery and Mind, the mental health charity (registered 219830).

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