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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge host secret reception for teen heroes

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a reception at Kensington Palace Wednesday for the winners of BBC Radio One’s Teen Hero Awards 2018, which recognised three young people who are heroes in their communities.

Speaking to Hello! magazine, Sienna Castellon, one of the winners, said, “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, which I created to support and mention autistic students and students with learning disabilities.”

Sienna noted to Hello! that Kate had been wearing a burgundy dress with white polka dots, and that Kate “was especially interested in addressing autism stereotypes and was saddened to hear about the severity of the disability-related bullying I have experienced.”

Sienna lives with autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD, and is also a Diana Award winner, which is given to young people for “selflessly creating and sustaining positive social change in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales,” and Kate congratulated her for receiving the honour 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 to continue to make a positive difference in my community.”

Sixteen-year-old Sienna is joined by Lily Rice and Junior Frood, both 14, as this year’s honourees.

Lily, who lives with spastic paraplegia, is in a wheelchair and is only the second woman in the world to perform a wheelchair backflip, which she did last year. She is being recognised for “helping children like her access her sport, wheelchair motorcross (WCMX),” per the BBC.

Junior, a freestyle street dancer, is an anti-bullying advocate who raised £300,000 for charities at his dance events. He experienced bullying himself and was forced to move due to its severity.

The awards are presented on Sunday at London’s Wembley SSE Arena and will be hosted by BBC Radio 1 Breakfast host Greg James.

Will and Kate have previously hosted the winners of the award in 2016.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.