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Carole Middleton babysits George, Charlotte and Louis while Prince William and Kate attend reception

The Duke and Duchess had some family help with their three children

Chloe Best

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a glamorous night out at the Queen's annual Diplomatic Corps Reception at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, alongside fellow royals including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. However, it appears their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis weren't far from their minds – and they found the perfect babysitter for the occasion.

Kate's mum Carole Middleton was seen leaving Kensington Palace on Wednesday evening, with pictures showing the 64-year-old driving herself while wearing a camel coat and drop earrings with her hair tied up. The doting grandmother was no doubt there to look after her three young grandchildren while Prince William and Kate mingled with Her Majesty's guests, who included ambassadors, high commissioners and government officials.

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Kate Middleton was pictured leaving Kensington Palace on Wednesday evening

It was an exciting day for Prince George and Princess Charlotte in particular, as they finished school for the year on Wednesday afternoon, and can now enjoy an extended Christmas break with their family before the new term starts on 7 January 2020.

GALLERY: See all the best photos from the Diplomatic Corps reception

The Cambridges are expected to spend the festive period at their Norfolk estate, Anmer Hall, with George, six, Charlotte, four, and one-year-old Louis. They will join the Queen and other members of the royal family at Sandringham on Christmas Day, and usually walk to church and take the time to speak to locals.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Diplomatic Corps Reception

At Wednesday night's reception, Kate stunned in a black Alexander McQueen evening gown paired with the Lover's Knot tiara and her Royal Victorian Order blue and gold sash – which she was awarded this year – and her Royal Family Order brooch pinned to her dress. Prince William, meanwhile, looked smart in a black tuxedo for the annual event, which has a dress code of "white tie and decorations".

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