Zara Phillips has banned TV cameras from recording the moment she receives her Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

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The 26-year-old royal – the first senior royal to be named on Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s Honours List – will collect her MBE from her grandmother the queen at London’s Buckingham Palace tomorrow (28.11.07), but has opted for a private ceremony.

Zara’s decision has upset many royal and sporting fans who had hoped to watch her receive the honour in recognition of her equestrian achievements.

A royal source told the Daily Mail: ‘It is really a shame because the MBE is the most common honour and it would have been good for its image to have a popular royal like Zara seen receiving one.

‘One of the pleasures the public has is seeing sporting heroes receiving awards, not for who they are but what they have done.’

Zara – the daughter of Princess Anne and ex-husband Mark Phillips – was awarded an MBE following a successful 2006, which saw her hold both the world and European eventing titles and named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Zara’s stepfather Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence will also be honoured at tomorrow’s ceremony. He will be named a Companion of the Order of the Bath for his military achievements, but, like Zara, has elected for a private ceremony.

A royal aide said: ‘Perhaps Zara’s mother Princess Anne thought it might be a little over the top seeing both her husband and her daughter honoured by the queen.’