Zara Phillips, the first member of the Royal Family to win an Olympic medal, and her husband Mike Tindall are expecting their first child in the New Year, it was announced today.

The baby will be a fourth great-grandchild for The Queen, a third grandchild for The Princess Royal and Capt Mark Phillips and will be 16th in line to the throne.

The pregnancy will put a temporary curb on the 2006 world champion’s eventing career – Zara will be a much missed absentee at the European championships in Malmo, Sweden, at the end of August, for which the British squad is announced today.

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Zara put up a brilliant performance on High Kingdom to be second at Luhmuhlen, Germany, last month, and she was a key member of Britain’s Olympic silver medal team in 2012.

The British squad for Malmo comprises a mixture of vast experience and youthful talent. Olympic silver medalists William Fox-Pitt (riding Lionheart) and Kristina Cook (Miners Frolic), who have nearly 40 caps between them head the squad of six.

They are joined by yesterday’s Barbury International winner, Piggy French, on a new ride, Tinkas Time, plus Lucy Wiegersma (Simon Porloe), Izzy Taylor (KBIS Briarlands Matilda) and the national under-25 champion, Tom McEwen (Diesel).

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