Queen and Prince Philip’s “delight” at news Peter and Autumn Phillips are expecting second baby

The pitter-patter of tiny feet are set to return to the Queen's Norfolk retreat as the reigning monarch is to become a great-grandmother for a second time.

The Princess Royal's son Peter Phillips and his wife are expecting their second child, Buckingham Palace confirmed over the weekend.

Canadian Autumn Phillips is due to have her baby in March. The couple already have a daughter, Savannah, who was born on December 29, 2010 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and is 12th in line to the throne.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: 'The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, as well as Autumn's family, have been informed and are delighted with the news.'

The announcement comes after baby Savannah and her proud parents Peter and Autumn Phillips enjoyed their first stay at Sandringham as a family earlier this year.


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The couple also joined the Princess Royal, her husband Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence and Prince Philip in walking to a church service on the Royal estate on January 31.

Ardent royal watcher Mary Relph, from Shouldham, was delighted to hear the news and told the EDP she hopes to congratulate the Princess Royal and the couple if they return to Sandringham this Christmas.

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She added: 'I am not surprised the Queen is delighted with the news - it has been a really good year for her and the rest of the Royal family.'

The 77-year-old was one of the first royal watchers to congratulate the Princess Royal during her first public appearance following the birth of her first grandchild.

She continued: 'I remember I said to her that I thought she would be spoilt to which Princess Anne replied that the baby wouldn't be spoilt by her.'

Peter Phillips is the queen's oldest grandchild and is 11th in line to the throne. He married Montreal-born Autumn in May 2008 at Windsor Castle.

The couple attracted media attention when they sold their wedding photos to Hello! magazine in May 2008 for a reported �500,000.

The episode provoked claims the couple had exploited their Royal status and at the time North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb called the move 'a serious error of judgment'.

Although he is 11th in line to the throne, Peter does not have a royal title as his mother declined to give her children the HRH title at birth.

Autumn was born and brought up a Roman Catholic but renounced her faith shortly before their wedding so her husband-to-be did not have to give up his claim to the throne.

Savannah Phillips was baptised on Saturday, April 23, at Holy Cross Church in Avening, Gloucestershire, near the Princess Royal's home, Gatcombe Park, with the Queen present at the happy event.

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