Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images Kate Middleton and Prince Harry
Kate Middleton isn't the only royal with a creative eye.
Prince Harry served as head judge for a photo competition held by WellChild, a charity focused on the well-being of seriously ill children of which Harry is patron. The contest, titled Hopes and Dreams: My Life through a Lens, helped illustrate what life is like for young people living with serious health needs and their families.
"The children and families I've had the honor of meeting over my years working with WellChild have shown incredible optimism, courage, and resilience," Prince Harry, 37, said in a statement. "I wasn't only proud to participate as a judge in this exhibition — I was deeply moved by each and every photograph, as they capture a moment and say so much about their personal story."
He continued, "Every person who is part of the WellChild family is a true inspiration. Congratulations to all the entries and a special cheer to the winners!"
“I was deeply moved by each & every photograph, as they capture a moment & say so much about their personal story”- The Duke of Sussex, Chair of Judges
Other judges were @David_Yarrow @GabyRoslin @chamberlinsport Chris Westbrook Nick Fisher & Alicia Hall. https://t.co/wgGD9nK1it pic.twitter.com/GUrxVaqQ6U
— WellChild (@WellChild) October 22, 2021
The judging panel, which also included world renowned photographer David Yarrow, TV presenters Gaby Roslin and Ed Chamberlin, WellChild Art Auction Curator Chris Westbrook, owner of Venture Photography Nick Fisher and Creative Director of Venture Photography Alicia Hall.
Ruby Smallman, 13, of Liverpool was named winner of the competition with her photo "Hope in an Oak," showing a small girl standing next to a gigantic tree.
Second place went to Noah McNeill, 10, of Huddersfield with "Naked," while 18-year-old Rhea of Croyden took third with "Creating to Inspire, and Succeeding to Achieve"
Taking fourth was Benjamin Morrison, 11, of Portsmouth with "The Slinky-ing Reading Master's Joy: Living with severe ASD and now seizure-free."
Finalists will have their photos displayed online at WellChild Art Auction 2021 events and at the WellChild Awards 2022. The winner also will receive a photo shoot experience for their family.
Chris Jackson/Getty Kate Middleton
The photo competition is reminiscent of Kate's Hold Still photography project. Last year, the royal mom, 39, encouraged people across the U.K. to capture life amid the coronavirus lockdown, resulting in a poignant digital gallery and book.
Kate, who studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, has described herself as an "enthusiastic amateur photographer." While she's often behind portraits of her three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — she's also lended her talents to photography workshops for kids and even got behind the camera in early 2020 to take photos of Holocaust survivors with their families.
Today our Patron The Duke of Sussex met 2021 WellChild Award winners at a garden party @kewgardens. The #WellChildAwards, in association with @gsk, looked different this year as we ensured attendees remained safe in line with #COVID guidelines. See some of our favourite photos. pic.twitter.com/nzzwa3NXk0
— WellChild (@WellChild) June 30, 2021
Prince Harry became patron of WellChild in 2007, with his appearance at their annual awards a highlight of his royal work each year. He began bringing Meghan Markle with him to the awards in more recent years.
"Since becoming patron of WellChild in 2007, this organization and the people within it have held an extraordinarily special place in my heart," Harry said this summer. "I wasn't a father at the time, and yet the stories of these children and parents transcended that. I didn't need to be a dad to feel the impact of this invaluable work. Now as a father of two, I feel all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families, who power through indescribable challenges with the support of WellChild."