Princess Beatrice and boyfriend Dave Clarke

Princess Beatrice and boyfriend Dave Clarke

Britain's Princess Beatrice has reportedly given up her seat on the first Virgin Galactic flight.

The 26-year-old royal was said to have had a place reserved on Sir Richard Branson's company's first ever flight into space next year but has now backed out after a test pilot was killed last week.

A source told the Daily Mail newspaper: "Beatrice was excited by the idea of space tourism, but there is no way she will be going on one of the flights, if they are ever allowed to take place."

The flame-haired beauty attended the 2011 launch of the spaceship VSS Enterprise - which was due to take the first tourists into space - with her boyfriend Dave Clarke, who is head of astronaut relations at Virgin Galactic.

However, the future of the project is now uncertain following the explosion of the test rocket over California's Mojave Desert, which caused the death of pilot Michael Alsbury and the serious injuries sustained by co-pilot Peter Siebold.

Branson himself had also planned to be aboard the inaugural flight next year, along with his son Sam and three guests and 460 VIPS, who each paid £156,000 for the privilege.