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Benteke/Petrov present Duke with Villa shirts at charity evening

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Benteke/Petrov present Duke with Villa shirts at charity evening

Christian Benteke and Stiliyan Petrov were part of a select audience at Kensington Palace when the future king of England performed an acoustic version of Livin' On A Prayer with Jon Bon Jovi - before they presented Prince William with Villa shirts for himself and baby Prince George.

The 22-year-old striker and the former Villa captain were formally invited to Prince William's Winter Whites Gala evening at which more than £1million was raised for youth homeless organisation Centrepoint.

It was the first time that either Benteke or Petrov have met the Duke of Cambridge, who is a Villa fan, and their warm reception at the Palace, which was decked out in the style of a winter wonderland, with fake snow, fir trees and icicles, was a proud moment for both.

"It was tremendously exciting. I have never met anyone from the Royal Family before, so this was a unique experience," Benteke said.

"We presented Prince William with a Villa shirt which has his name on the back and also a shirt for his baby son. He was delighted to receive these!

"He was very nice, he complimented the team and he thanked us for coming to support his charity evening. For me, it was a special feeling to be there."

Some 600 guests were in attendance as Prince William spoke about Centrepoint's challenge - to end youth homelessness within a decade.

For Petrov, it was a great moment to meet the Prince, having enjoyed the acoustic concert featuring Eliza Dolittle, James Blunt, Tinie Tempah and Taylor Swift, as well as Jon Bon Jovi.

"We had good fun, it was for a great cause and the performances were also great. It was a really great honour for both Christian and me to meet Prince William and to be there," Petrov said.

"He was really nice and he made us feel very welcome. It was funny really because it seemed as if he appreciated us being there as much as we appreciated being there!

"He's a Villa fan and it was nice to be able to personally present him with a Villa shirt and one for Prince George as well. The evening was just tremendous, all of it."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 29th November 2013
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