Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter join Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace

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Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter joined high profile guests for a dinner hosted by Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening. The newlyweds attended the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) reception following their return from their recent honeymoon.

The pair looked thrilled to meet the Princess Royal at the charity event, and were all smiles as they chatted to the Queen's daughter in the Palace's white drawing room.

Sherlock star Benedict looked dapper in a blue velvet suit jacket and trousers, while his wife highlighted her growing baby bump in a complementary blue maxi dress featuring an embellished design.

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie joined Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace

Ever the gentleman, Benedict kept his arm around pregnant Sophie's waist while they mingled with guests including Michael Ball, Victoria Wood and the presenters of Good Morning Britain.

The 38-year-old also took time to meet Professor Stephen Hawking, who attended the event with his first wife Jane Hawking.

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Sophie Hunter showed off her growing baby bump

Benedict is a staunch supporter of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and was one of many stars to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the summer. The actor took the challenge to the next level by throwing not just one - but five - buckets of ice-cold water over his head in support of the campaign.

The reception was the first event that Benedict and Sophie have attended together since the Oscars. Following the awards the couple embarked on a romantic honeymoon together, and only returned home to London at the weekend.

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Benedict Cumberbatch met Professor Stephen Hawking at the event

It has been a whirlwind few months for the couple, who are expecting their first child together in the summer. The loved-up pair tied the knot in the Isle of Wight on Valentine's Day amid the busy awards season, before jetting straight to Los Angeles for the Oscars.

Despite losing out on the Best Leading Actor award to Eddie Redmayne, Benedict is still in the running for the title at the 2015 Jameson Empire Film Awards on 29 March.

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