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Nicole Appleton shows rare picture of daughter Skipper four months after surprise birth

Nicole and partner Stephen Haines welcomed their daughter in March

Andrea Caamano

Nicole Appleton surprised fans when she welcomed her second child earlier this year, and on Thursday evening she shared the most gorgeous picture of her blue-eyed tot.

The new mum headed out for a lovely lunch in the sun with sister Natalie, Shiarra Bell, who is head of artist relations events at Universal Music UK, and EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite, and the latter shared the most adorable picture featuring baby Skipper.

MORE: Holly Willoughby has the best response to Nicole Appleton's surprise baby news

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Nicole Appleton took her daughter out for lunch as she reunited with her friends

"Lunch with your girls for the first time all year @shishib @ruby1kid @natappleton #skipper #love," Tamzin wrote alongside the snap of them sitting round a table enjoying an alfresco lunch, with Skipper sitting in her mum's lap.

Fans were clearly delighted and many rushed to comment on little Skipper, with one writing: "How lovely all back together, that wee baby of @ruby1kid is a wee dote."

"Picture filled with cuteness," added another one.

Good friend Amanda Holden, who is currently holidaying in the South of France with her husband and two daughters, also commented, sharing several love heart emojis.

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Skipper pictured with her dad Stephen

RELATED: Stars' secret pregnancies: Nicole Appleton, Kylie Jenner and more hidden baby bumps

Earlier this month, the 45-year-old shared a stunning picture of her partner Stephen Haines posing with their four-month old. "My heart is bursting!!! #myfamily @hainsey7 #Skipper," she wrote alongside the close-up shot of the two.

Nicole's friends adored the image, with This Morning's Holly Willoughby writing: "She's sooooo beautiful." Tamzin commented: "God I love her already," and former band member Shaznay Lewis added: "Ahhhhhhhh princess Skipper!!!!!! Love you."

Nicole and Stephen announced the birth of their little girl in March. Nicole kept her pregnancy a secret for the whole nine months, and took to Instagram to reveal the unexpected news.

Alongside a series of heart melting photos of the new family, the former All Saints singer wrote: "After hiding my pregnancy for the last 9 months...which was SOOOOO difficult & keeping her a secret from all my friends...I can finally announce our incredible news!!..Our little girl ‘Skipper Hudson Haines’ has arrived Stephen & Gene are besotted!!! I’m SOOO HAPPY! [sic]."