Zara Phillips plans to be a hands-on mum to baby girl

Zara Phillips has given birth to a baby girl.
Photo / Getty Images
Zara Phillips has given birth to a baby girl. Photo / Getty Images

She may be a professional rider and former Olympian, but sporty Zara Phillips has no intention of being a hands-off mother.

Despite telling Australian magazine Woman's Weekly that her pregnancy came as a complete "shock", Zara, who gave birth on Friday morning in the Gloucestershire Royal NHS hospital, has been quietly preparing for motherhood.

She has left hospital, having stayed just a few hours, and now finding a nanny will be among her immediate plans, because the Olympic silver medallist hopes to pick up her eventing career where she left off.

The arrangement is similar to one employed by Zara's own mother, Princess Anne, herself a keen horsewoman.

Her two children, Zara and Peter Phillips, were cared for by their nanny Sarah Minty while she and ex-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, pursued hugely successful careers in showjumping.

But although Zara remains committed to eventing, the famously down-to-earth royal is unlikely to be a distant figure in the life of her daughter, and is instead likely to ensure her new daughter enjoys a classic country childhood, complete with ponies and plenty of pets

She also plans to cook for the new baby, and has used her enforced career-break to brush up on her culinary skills.

In the same interview with Australian Woman's Weekly, the sportswoman added: "I have been a bit bored. I'm used to being on the go and active the whole time, and now it's quite different. So, yes, I'm baking. I love cooking and will definitely cook for the baby."

New father Tindall added of her culinary skills: "She's a very good cook and cooks me everything. I cook too, but I'm the pudding guy - sticky toffee puddings, chocolate fondants and brownies.

"I'm very good at following a recipe whereas Zara's good at putting her own twist on things."

Tindall, a former England rugby captain who comes from a solidly middle class background, is likely to insist on a down-to-earth upbringing for his daughter, and, like his wife, loves spending time outdoors.

The new arrival is sure to follow suit, and will certainly have plenty of space to run about in: her parents recently relocated to a cottage on Princess Anne's spacious 730-acre Gatcombe Estate in Gloucestershire.

The move also means Zara can spend more time with her new daughter, because the property also houses Zara's horses and is where she trains both her racehorses and her three-day eventers.

It will also mean a bigger role for Princess Anne - already a grandmother to Peter and Autumn Phillips' children Savannah and Isla - who will be on-hand to dispense advice to her daughter and provide a spare pair of hands.

The baby's other grandparents are Tindall's mother Linda, who is a social worker, and his father Philip, a retired bank official who played rugby for Otley for 10 years until a knee injury ended his career in 1973.

Both are likely to want to play a big role in the new Miss Tindall's upbringing and are already regular visitors to the Gatcombe Estate.

And while the new baby will, like her mother, forego a royal title, she is likely to have an education fit for a princess.

Zara herself followed in her uncle Prince Charles' footsteps and was educated at Gordonstoun in Moray, Scotland, a possible destination for the new arrival.

Regardless of education, the newest addition to the royal family will certainly spend plenty of time with her blue-blooded relatives, and will join the rest of the family at Sandringham next Christmas.

And although her cousin Prince George will be spending the next few months in Australia and New Zealand, the two newest members of the royal family are likely to meet long before that.

- DAILY MAIL

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