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July 29, 2002
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The relationship between Zara Phillips and her jockey boyfriend Richard Johnson seemed to be cooling two weeks ago, when the couple arrived separately at the Beaufort Polo Club. Since then, it has been revealed that the Queen’s granddaughter has moved out of the £400,000 estate she shared with the horseman.

The spirited daughter of Princess Anne is now, according to UK newspaper The Mirror, living with her good friend Dolly Maude and her husband Chris, a former jockey. Zara apparently left Richard’s Cotswolds country house, where she's lived since May, 2001, without bringing most of her belongings with her.

Neither Zara nor Richard has spoken of the break-up. Zara’s friend Dolly refused to comment, saying: “I don’t want to talk about it. It is not fair on anyone.”

Richard and Zara’s romance blossomed more than three years ago, after the two met at the stables of David Nicholson, one of National Hunt’s legendary trainers. In 2002, rumours of a wedding emerged, and it seemed the couple was making plans for the future. “I would love to go into breeding top race horses when I retire,” Richard told HELLO! earlier this year. “I hope it is a business that would interest Zara, too.”

For the inside story from our royal correspondent Judy Wade, see this week’s HELLO! magazine, on sale now

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Photo: ©
Onlookers say the relationship seemed strained two weeks ago, when the couple arrived separately to the Beaufort Polo Club
Photo: ©
Richard and Zara in happier times two years ago. The Queen's granddaughter began seeing the National Hunt jockey in 1999