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Zara Phillips gives birth to baby girl in NHS hospital

The Queen's grand daughter and the England rugby player have welcomed their first child

Zara Phillips and England rugby star Mike Tindall have welcomed their first child at an NHS hospital, it has been confirmed.

The Queen's granddaughter, who is 16th in line to the throne, delivered a baby girl in the early hours of this morning.

The baby weighed 7lbs 12oz, and Phillips returned home with the child just three hours after the birth.

"The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike’s parents, Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news," the Queen's Press Secretary added.

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The child’s name is set to be announced in due course.

Buckingham Palace first announced Phillips' pregnancy in July 2013, shortly before the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, Prince George.

Using Phillips' married name, a Palace spokesperson said in a statement at the time: "Mr and Mrs Mike Tindall are very pleased to announce that Zara Tindall is expecting a baby in the new year.

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

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"This baby will be the first child for Mike and Zara and the third grandchild for the Princess Royal."

The couple met during England's Rugby World Cup-winning campaign in Australia in 2003.

They wed in July 2011 in Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk in a private ceremony attended by all the senior members of the Royal Family, three months after Phillips' cousin Prince William married Kate Middleton.

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Phillips won individual gold in three-day eventing at the World Equestrian Games in Germany in 2006. She also won silver in the team three-day eventing event in the Olympics in 2012.

David Cameron's official spokesman described the announcement at the time as "quite terrific news", telling reporters: "The Prime Minister will send his very, very best wishes to the happy couple."

The pair are already aunt and uncle to two nieces, Savannah and Isla - the daughters of Phillips' brother Peter and his wife Autumn.

The royal baby will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's fourth great grandchild, after Savannah and Isla Phillips and Kate Middleton and Prince William's son, Prince George.