UK

Zara Tindall and a rather different royal birth

The Tindalls outside their Gloucestershire home Image copyright PA
Image caption The new baby will live with their parents in the Gloucestershire countryside

The low-key arrival of the Queen's fourth great-grandchild is in stark contrast to the fanfare that greeted her third, Prince George.

That is perhaps unsurprising as Zara and Mike Tindall's first child is 16th in line to the throne, while her second cousin George is set to be king one day.

Six months ago, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby dominated headlines around the world when his birth was announced.

However, while any baby is a cause for celebration, there is unlikely to be the same level of international attention - or the manufacture of quite so much royal memorabilia - for the new member of the Tindall family.

The hospital

Image copyright AP
Image caption Excitement was high before Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, went into labour
Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince George was born in a private ward at a central London hospital

Zara chose the maternity unit of an NHS hospital - Gloucestershire Royal Hospital - near her countryside home. The two daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips were also born there.

Last summer the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth on the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, last July. Prices for the en-suite, private rooms start at £4,965 for a "normal delivery package". But that just pays for the first 24 hours, with additional nights from £900.

Media had been camped outside the building for days in advance, waiting for news on the much-anticipated delivery.

The birth announcement

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince George's birth was announced with pomp and ceremony

Following royal protocol, the Queen was formally informed of Prince George's arrival in a bulletin. The missive, signed by key medical staff, was taken from the hospital to Buckingham Palace by a royal aide, under police escort.

At the palace, royal watchers and tourists queued in the rain to see the official bulletin, which was displayed on an easel in the forecourt.

The Tindalls' announcement was a rather more muted affair, with confirmation coming in the form of a press release from Buckingham Palace - but this time, without the help of the gold and wood easel.

The reaction

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince George was presented to the world the day after his birth

The public appetite for information about the Duke and Duchess's baby seemed insatiable - starting from the moment Catherine's pregnancy was announced. Prince George's birth provoked headlines around the world, with messages of congratulation coming from presidents. prime ministers and religious leaders.

Gun salutes and the ceremonial ringing of bells marked the birth of the third in line to the throne, while souvenirs were rushed onto shop shelves.

While celebrity magazines covered Zara's pregnancy, she has mostly slipped under the radar. And while congratulations will no doubt be showered upon the Tindalls in the days to come, they will be on a much smaller scale.

The royal role

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Princess Royal and Prince Charles now have four grandchildren between them

Like her mother, the new baby will not hold a royal title and will be known as Miss Tindall. As such, they will be expected to live a private life, out of the spotlight. The baby is 16th in line to the throne and is the fourth great grandchild to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

As Prince George of Cambridge is third in line to the throne and set to be king, he will play an active role in royal life. His first overseas tour has already been announced - a trip to New Zealand and Australia with his parents later this year.

The parents

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The couple, who keep a relatively low profile, spent Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Tindalls opted for a family wedding on a smaller scale

Baby Tindall has been born into a sporting family, with a former England rugby player for a father and an Olympian horse-riding mother. Despite their sporting prowess the couple, who met at a rugby match and were married at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, in July 2011, keep a relatively-low profile. It is expected their baby daughter will too.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met at St Andrew's University and were married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011, watched by millions around the world. And of course, they attract attention wherever they go with Catherine, in particular, being a media favourite.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites