The Duchess of Cambridge made an emotional phone call to a woman who lost both her grandparents to COVID-19.

Duchess of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge

The 39-year-old royal connected with several people over the past year who made it to the finals of her Hold Still photography competition, which saw budding artists tasked with taking pictures that reflected their lives in lockdown amid the pandemic.

And in a new video posted to the YouTube channel that Catherine shares with her husband, Prince William, the duchess spoke to finalist Hayley Evans about the poignant photo she took of her grandparents Pat and Ron Wood.

Pat, 92, and Ron, 95, had been married for 71 years and were admitted to the COVID-19 ward of Worthing Hospital in West Sussex in May 2020, but Pat sadly passed away in her sleep before her husband followed five days later.

Speaking to Hayley, Catherine said: "I wanted to say a huge thank you to you for sending in the wonderful, very moving photograph of your grandparents. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm hugely grateful for you sending in such a personal photograph. Were you able to spend quite a bit of time with them?"

The duchess also spoke about the letter that accompanied Hayley’s post, in which she explained her grandparents were placed in the same room with their beds pushed together so they were able to hold hands.

Catherine added: "The photograph is so moving, and that's what I think is so lovely, is actually hearing people's stories, and the things that have really resonated for them.

“And I loved your sentence about saying how they appreciate the tiny things, and they took nothing for granted, and it was just the ability to touch each other and hold each other in those last few days."

Hayley then explained her grandmother had spoken fondly of the royal family the day before she was hospitalised, as she was watching the V-E Day celebrations.

She said: "She was talking about how much she loved the Queen, and then we saw some videos of you and your outfit! For her photo to be selected would have meant so much to her because it's you, and the fact that they're still having such an impact … wherever they are, they'd be chuffed to bits."

And Catherine responded: "Their memory will certainly be remembered, that's for sure. And you know, their message, the fact that that sort of resilience, bravery, but also these small acts are the things that really matter, and really keep us together and I think that's been such an important message, especially during lockdown, and I think that really resonated with lots and lots of people."