New royal baby: Zara Phillips pregnant
Prince William's cousin, equestrian Zara Phillips, is expecting her first baby with rugby player Mike Tindall

NEW YEAR BABY. England rugby player Mike Tindall and his wife Britain's Zara Phillips are expecting a baby in the New Year, Buckingham Palace announced. Zara is a cousin of Prince William. File AFP photo/Ben Stansall

LONDON, United Kingdom – Even before the Duchess of Cambridge gives birth, another royal baby is already on the way.

The Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, award-winning equestrian Zara Phillips, is pregnant with her first child with rugby player Mike Tindall.

“Mr and Mrs Mike Tindall are very pleased to announce that Zara Tindall is expecting a baby in the New Year,” the Palace said in a statement on Monday, July 8. 

Zara Phillips is the daughter of Princess Anne, the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Princess Anne is known by the title Princess Royal.

“The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips, Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall, and members of both families are delighted with the news,” the Palace added.

Zara Phillips is 14th in the line of succession, and will be 15th when the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, gives birth to her first child with Prince William this month.

Zara Phillips’ child will be Princess Anne’s third grandchild and the Queen’s fourth great-grandchild.

Zara and Mike wed in Scotland in 2011.

The BBC reports that the couple met during England’s Rugby World Cup-winning campaign in Australia in 2003. Mike Phillips is now a player-coach at Gloucester. – 

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