Zara Phillips
Zara Phillips

Zara Phillips is planning to get a professional childminder, when her firstborn child arrives.

The Queen's 32-year-old granddaughter who is married to former England rugby captain Mike Tindall is thought to be four months pregnant and the baby is due early in the new year.

"Zara and Mike both have a lot of sporting commitments next year, so they know they will need some extra help caring for the baby. They want to be as hands-on as possible, but they have to be realistic about their respective workloads and all the travel that their jobs necessitate," a friend close to the royal told the Telegraph.

Phillips, as with most of the royals, was looked after by a nanny in her early years. However, her spokesman has said the couple still have not made a final decision about whether to employ a full-time nanny.

"The couple have not made any plans yet," her spokesman said.

It was previously reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton won't be employing a nanny to look after Prince George. The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to George on 22 July, in the Lindo wing of London's St Mary's Hospital. The young prince is third in line to the throne. The couple broke the royal tradition by not employing a full-time nanny and Kate is with her parents', Michael and Carole Middleton at their £4.85m Georgian manor in Berkshire.

"Catherine and William are determined to be hands-on parents," a close friend of the couple told the Telegraph ahead of her delivery, "Her parents are very excited about the baby and will help out as much as possible. They will, probably, use a part-time nanny to help them out when they have to attend events and don't have a babysitter, but they don't want a full-time nanny."