Out of all the British royal family couples, one manages to stay relatively under the radar. Well, under the radar by royal family standards, that is. Queen Elizabeth II's eldest granddaughter Zara Phillips (now Tindall) and her former rugby-playing husband Mike Tindall don't seem to be involved in any of the family drama. Mostly, they stick to making cute couple public appearances at Wimbledon, family weddings, and the Euro finals (Mike just broke up a fight between fans at the latter!)
The equestrian and her husband are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary at the end of this month. And through the years, aside from a few public appearances here and there, the couple has kept it pretty low-key, maintaining a fairly private life. Although, the birth of their three children always brought them back into the spotlight. (Royal babies tend to draw attention, in our experience.)
So in honor of the couple's anniversary on July 10, we're taking a trip down memory lane—here's everything you need to know about Mike and Zara Tindall's relationship.
- In 2003, the couple met in a bar while watching the Rugby World Cup, where Zara left her number for Mike with his friend.
- The couple became engaged in December 2010 at their townhouse in Cheltenham.
- On July 30, 2011, the two tied the knot at Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile with 400 friends and family members in attendance.
- The couple welcomed their three children, Mia Grace, Lena Elizabeth, and Lucas Philip, in 2014, 2018, and 2021.
November 2003: Meeting at the Pub
During the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Zara and Mike met at the Manly Wharf bar in Sydney. Mike had been dropped by the England team leading into the semi-finals, so he was taking in the final game at the pub.
The former rugby player told Daily Mail in 2011, that "[Zara] was on her gap year and in Australia with friends. Clive (Woodward, the coach) had just told me I was dropped for the semi-final, so I went out for a beer with two others who weren't playing, Martin Corry and Austin Healey."
The two were introduced and Zara left her number for Mike. "Later on, Austin gave me her number and said, 'She wants you to text her, to say where you're all going out after the final so she can come along," Mike shared.
Mike did send her a message and the two started talking, and once back in the U.K. Zara invited Mike as her date to the North Cotswold Ball.
April 27, 2004: They Made It Official
After about five months of seeing each other, the two made things "official" in April 2004, according to Mike. "I think it was April 27—that would be the official date we said we were going to go out with each other," he told Daily Mail.
Soon after, he met her parents, Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips. In a 2008 interview, Mike revealed his impressions of her parents and why they get along so well. "Zara’s mum is a legend and her father is lovely too," he said. "My mates in Wakefield are forever asking how I fit in among the royal family but they are really down to earth."
2009: They Move to Cheltenham Together
For the next few years, the couple focused on their respective sports and supported each other through the highs and lows. In 2008, Zara's horse Toytown was injured and could not compete in that year's Olympics. Zara recalled in an interview how Mike had stepped up to support her during the difficult time. ''He met me just after I'd found out my horse had injured himself, so I was quite low and vulnerable,'' she said, according to The Telegraph.
The couple eventually moved in together at a property on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire. In 2009, they got their own place in Cheltenham.
December 2010: The Engagement
After more than five years of dating, Mike got down on one knee. Per Harper's Bazaar, he hinted that a proposal was coming in a 2009 interview with Hello!. "I don't think it is about whether we will get married but when."
In December 2010, they announced their engagement much to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's "delight." The Royal Family announcement read, "The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Zara Phillips to Mr. Mike Tindall, son of Mr. Phillip and Mrs. Linda Tindall."
Tindall revealed to Daily Mail that he had been thinking about proposing for a long time. "I had been thinking about it for ages, waiting to ask, but then my brother got engaged, and so did a certain Duke of Cambridge," he said. "I thought I'd better get on with it."
He also added that he was quite nervous about popping the question. "I was upstairs, plucking up the nerve to do it, while Zara was downstairs watching television," he said. "It was all about shock value—I wanted to catch her when it was quiet, and she wasn't expecting anything."
And much to his surprise, Zara started laughing. "She was completely in shock. Then, when she stopped laughing, she said, 'Yes.' That was a relief."
Zara later told Town & Country that she was "very happy" with her ring. "Mike found it—I hinted what I liked, but he did it all himself,"
July 30, 2011: The Wedding
The two had a private wedding but by no means was it small. They still invited 400 of their friends and family to attend the event at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. For the wedding, Zara wore a dress by Stewart Parvin, who was a courtier to both the Queen and Princess Anne.
January 17, 2014: Mia Grace Tindall Was Born
In July 2013, two years after their wedding, Buckingham Palace announced that the couple was expecting their first child. In January, their daughter Mia Grace entered the world. Mike shared the exciting news on Twitter.
"Thanks so much for all your kind messages. Definitely the best day of my life today; so happy! The girls are both doing great!"
June 18, 2018: Lena Elizabeth Was Born
In January, a year after the couple sadly suffered a miscarriage, Zara confirmed she was pregnant again. In June 2018, their second daughter Lena Elizabeth was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
March 21, 2021: Lucas Philip Tindall Was Born
In December 2020, Mike revealed that he and Zara were expecting a third baby on his podcast, The Good, The Bad & The Rugby. "I'd like a boy this time. I've got two girls; I would like a boy," he said. "I'll love it whatever, whether a boy or a girl—but please be a boy."
Sure enough, on March 21, 2021, the couple welcomed their third child: a baby boy this time! Lucas Philip Tindall marked Queen Elizabeth's 10th (!!) great-grandchild. But his entry into the world wasn't necessarily predictable—the couple ran out of time, and Zara had to give birth in their bathroom!
"A little baby boy arrived at my house!" Mike shared on his podcast. He added that friend of the couple was with them "and recognized that we wouldn't have got to the hospital in time... So, it was run into the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get a mat on the floor, towels down, 'brace-brace-brace.'"