The Heartfelt Moment Between Kate Middleton And A Holocaust Survivor

On November 10, the day before the U.K.'s annual Remembrance Day (or, for American readers, the U.S. version of Veteran's Day), Kate Middleton attended the Imperial War Museum in order to introduce two art exhibitions. Per Marie Claire, one of the two galleries, titled "Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors," included two different portraits taken by none other than Kate herself. Both photographs featured respective Holocaust survivors who had been children during the Nazi occupation of Europe, along with their grandchildren, taken in a style reminiscent of modern royal portraiture that any museum visitor would find at home at London's National Gallery.

During the event, the Duchess of Cambridge reunited with her photographic subjects, Stephen Frank, a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and Yvonne Bernstein, who survived Auschwitz (via ArtNet News). In an Instagram posted after the event, both Kate and Prince William captured their meeting on camera, writing, "Today's visit to the 'Generations: Portraits of the Holocaust' exhibition at the Imperial War Museum brought back many memories of incredible people that The Duchess has met and poignant stories that she has heard in recent years," adding, "It's vital these stories live on for younger generations." But that's far from the only thing Kate had to say about seeing survivors Frank and Bernstein at the exhibition.

Kate Middleton reunited with her portrait subjects with a warm embrace

As the Daily Mail reported shortly after the reunion took place, Kate Middleton (pictured above with Holocaust survivor Yvonne Bernstein and her granddaughter) expressed joy upon seeing both Bernstein and survivor Stephen Frank at the exhibition's Imperial War Museum debut. 

Per the outlet, the Duchess of Cambridge quickly approached Frank after spotting him, exclaiming, "Hello! I want to give you a big cuddle!" — despite hesitating as to whether or not such a gesture would be appropriate to enact. As the Daily Mail noted, Frank welcomed the statement by embracing the Duchess in a warm, emotional embrace.

Though Kate's passion for the art exhibition's premise of preserving history, and with it, the stories of Holocaust survivors — a demographic which is quickly dying out — could be presumably linked to rumors that the Duchess of Cambridge herself is of Jewish heritage, it seems this link is faintly tenuous at best. Hey Alma unpacked speculative reports of Kate's possible matrilineal Jewish heritage circulated right before and after her marriage to Prince William in 2011; subsequent reports found no basis in this conspiracy theory. Either way, Kate's dedication to telling the stories of survivors is a lesson in compassion and humanity, along with advocating for the rights of minorities, marginalized peoples, and their communities.