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Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall and husband lose their baby

The Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband have lost their baby, a spokeswoman for the couple has said.

Equestrian champion Zara and former England rugby player Mike Tindall announced at the end of November they were expecting their second child.

But on the eve of Christmas a spokeswoman for the couple issued a brief statement saying the Tindalls had lost their second baby.

Zara and Mike already have a daughter Mia, who is nearly three, and were said to be thrilled about the prospect of another child.

The baby was due around late spring and would have been the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's sixth great-grandchild.

The Countess of Wessex lost her first baby in December 2001 when she was airlifted to hospital after suffering a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.

Sophie underwent a two-and-a-half-hour operation during which surgeons removed the foetus from her Fallopian tube.

The spokeswoman for Zara and Mike would not give any details about the circumstances surrounding the loss of the couple's baby but it is understood the Queen's granddaughter is not in any medical danger.

"Very sadly, Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their baby. At this difficult time, we ask that everyone respects their privacy," said the spokeswoman.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the private matter.

It is likely that Zara will spend Christmas convalescing with husband Mike and their daughter at their home on Gatcombe Park country estate in Gloucestershire, the residence of her mother the Princess Royal.

Zara missed out on the Rio Olympics this year after she failed to make the British Equestrian Federation's nominated rider list.

The former world eventing champion helped the Great Britain team win a silver medal at London 2012 and had been hoping to bring back a gold from Brazil.

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