The Royal Baby You Don’t Know About

Zara Phillips and husband Mike Tindall. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)Have you heard there's a royal baby on the way? No, not the one who’s already arrived. (C'mon, of course you know about him.) We’re talking about the future child of Zara Phillips, 32, another one of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren, albeit one not nearly as famous as Prince William.

And the not-being-as-famous part seems fine with her. After all, this is a woman who chose to announce her pregnancy on July 8, smack in the middle of the media hubbub surrounding the impending birth of her cousin William and his wife Kate Middleton’s royal heir, who arrived exactly two weeks later. 

So who is Zara Phillips?

She’s the second (and youngest) child of Princess Anne, Prince Charles's younger sister. And though Phillips is the first cousin of Prince William and Prince Harry, she had a very different upbringing than they did. Her mother married fellow equestrian Marc Phillips (whom she divorced when Zara was 10 after discovering he had fathered a child with another woman during their marriage) and decided not to give her kids royal titles, reportedly to help them live more normal lives.

Even today, Anne, now 62, seems to want to make it clear she's removed from any royal family mania. "Nothing to do with me," she was quoted as saying after the birth of her new great-nephew, "but very good news."

Zara followed in her parents' footsteps and became an equestrian herself, eventually winning a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London, where Will and Kate, along with a few of her other cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, all cheered her on from the stands.

Zara Phillips competing at the Rundle Cup (photo: Getty Images)Though her future offspring will most likely have athleticism in his or her blood – thanks to Phillips's own background and the fact that her husband, whom she married in July 2011, is 34-year-old rugby player Mike Tindall – he or she won’t have any real shot at the throne. With the birth of Will and Kate’s little one, Phillips herself has now fallen to 15th in line, which means her child will be lowly number 16. The baby will, however, get to say that he or she is the second cousin of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s  son, George, who is currently third in line (behind his dad William and grandfather Charles) to take over as Britain's ruling monarch.

Despite the fact that Phillips might not have been raised in Buckingham Palace, the palace took it upon itself to make the couple's official baby news announcement earlier this month. "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 Phillips and Mrs Linda Tindall, and members of both families are delighted with the news,” the statement read. "This baby will be the first child for Mike and Zara and the third grandchild for the Princess Royal."

The announcement caused a bit of a stir when the British media immediately noted that Zara (who still goes by Phillips professionally) had taken a spill during an equestrian event just two days earlier and planned to continue competing in the near-term. A little more than a week later, she had changed her tune with a spokesperson announcing that all of her horses had qualified for next year’s events and "she has done so well already this season, she does not actually need to compete anymore."

Which means that after her little one is born next year, Zara Phillips will be back in the saddle with her kid on the sidelines ... or off playing at the palace with a certain well-known older cousin.

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