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Prince William and Kate Middleton host surprise reception at Kensington Palace - exclusive details

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been hard at work

Sharnaz Shahid

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be dazzling fans in Australia, but that hasn't stopped the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from drawing attention back in London. The royal couple hosted a surprise engagement at their home in Kensington Palace for the finalists of this year's BBC Radio One's Teen Hero Awards. According to Court Circular, Prince William and Kate "gave a Reception at Kensington Palace for the finalists of BBC Radio One's Teen Hero Awards."

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Prince William and Kate hosted a reception at their home on Wednesday

It is thought that the royal couple welcomed teenagers - Lily Rice, Junior Frood and Siena Castellon - into their home to praise them for their inspirational work after being crowned Teen Heroes of 2018. Speaking to HELLO! after the meet-and-greet, 16-year-old Siena - who has supported other students with autism and learning difficulties - revealed: "It was such an honour and privilege to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace. They were both genuinely interested in my website, www.QLMentoring.com, which I created to support and mentor autistic students and students with learning disabilities."

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan recreate Prince William and Kate's Sydney pose

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The royals spoke to finalists of this year's BBC Radio One's Teen Hero Awards

Of meeting Prince William and Kate, who wore a burgundy coloured dress with white dots, she added: "The Duchess was especially interested in addressing autism stereotypes and was saddened to hear about the severity of the disability-related bullying I have experienced. She congratulated me for being a Diana Award holder and for currently serving on the National Youth Board, a role that has given me a national platform through which to share my disability-based bullying experience. They were both incredibly warm, supportive and encouraging. Meeting them was an awesome experience! They have inspired me continue to make a positive difference in my community."

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The actual awards itself will be presented during the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards ceremony at London's Wembley SSE Arena on Sunday, and will be hosted by Radio 1 Breakfast presenter Greg James. The night celebrates the selfless, brave and exceptional achievements of young people. This is not the first time William and Kate hosted Teen Hero finalists. In 2016, Kate spoke with Radio 1 Teen Hero 1 Million Hours Award winners Joe and Toby, who were both active fundraisers for Cancer Research UK. "I don't know how all of you find the time to do the volunteering," she told them. "It's such a great thing... Keep it up." William added, "Massive congratulations, it's seriously impressive," before them the group of winners as "shining lights".

This is the second engagement Kate has carried out in secret this week. The mum-of-three hosted a meeting at Kensington Palace on Tuesday morning, most likely after doing the school run. Experts gathered at the palace to discuss Kate's new project, the 'Early Years' initiative. Kate, who gave birth to Prince Louis in April, returned from maternity leave earlier this month. Last spring, the palace confirmed that Kate will continue to support her patronages and charities, but her priority would be to look after her three young children: Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, three, and six-month-old baby Louis.

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