Inside Mike and Zara Tindall’s larger than life romance

The pair recently celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary!
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Zara and Mike Tindall are perhaps the world’s most relatable royals, connected to the most famous family on earth. 

But despite having the eyes of billions on their every move, the pair live surprisingly ordinary lives alongside their three children Mia, 9, Lena, 5, and Lucas, 2. 

WATCH NOW: Zara Tindall wins a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Article continues after video. 

Born to the late Queen Elizabeth’s second eldest child (and only daughter) Princess Anne and her Olympian husband Captain Mark Phillips, it would be safe to assume that Zara would eventually marry a man of similar social standing. 

But this was not the case, the silver medal-winning Olympian drawn to up-and-coming sporting superstar Mike Tindall in a chance encounter down under. 

Yes, you read that right, this great love story actually began in Australia!

These two have come a long way since they first met 20 years ago! (Credit: Getty)

How did Zara and Mike Tindall meet?

In 2003, Mike was in Australia as part of the English team competing in the Rugby World Cup. 

At the same time, Zara was travelling the country as part of her gap year, and just so happened to be at the Manly Wharf Bar in Sydney at the same time as Mike who was enjoying a commiserative beer with some mates after being dropped from the squad. 

Speaking with the Daily Mail in 2011 Mike reminisced upon the encounter: “Zara was in the same bar; we got introduced but didn’t speak that much.”

In January 2024, he shed new light on their first meeting in an interview with Manish Bhasin for The Gambling Zone

“When we met, I basically only said hello. I didn’t really even talk to her because I was still quite down.” 

Awwww, our hearts are melting (Credit: Getty)

His friend Austin Healey then gave Mike Zara’s number telling Mike: “She wants you to text her, to say where you’re all going out after the final so she can come along.” 

The pair then started chatting back and forth, Zara even invited the rugby player to the North Cotswold Ball as her date before they eventually decided on April 27th, 2004 to make things official. 

“First date, actual date, just went out for lunch locally. And ended up being quite a boozy one. Then we figured out that we both quite like getting smashed. It was a good start,” Mike jokingly admitted during his stint on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2022.

And the rest, as they say, is history!

The love of love: announcing their engagement in 2010 (Credit: Getty)

Where do Mike and Zara Tindall live? 

After five years of dating, the lovebirds moved in with one another, first calling Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire home before moving into their own home together in the Cotswolds suburb of Cheltenham.

RELATED || Mike and Zara Tindall give fans rare glimpse into family home

In the years that have followed, and as their family has grown, the Tindalls have moved back to Gatcombe Park, now residing in a lavish home that they have extensively renovated. 

Mike and Zara on their wedding day in 2011 (Credit: Getty)

Are Mike and Zara Tindall married? 

Prince William and Princess Catherine weren’t the only royal couple to become engaged in 2010, with Mike proposing to Zara in their Cheltenham townhouse just a month later in December of that same year. 

“I was upstairs, plucking up the nerve to do it, while Zara was downstairs watching television,” Mike has recounted, joking that after his cousins-in-law became engaged he felt like he “better get on with it [proposing].”

RELATED || Mike talks about “getting smashed” with wife Zara 

“It was all about shock value – I wanted to catch her when it was quiet and she wasn’t expecting anything.”

“I walked in there and got down on one knee, with the ring. She was on the sofa, so that made it easier. I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ She started laughing. She was in complete shock. Then, when she stopped laughing, she said, ‘Yes.” That was a relief.”

Lucas making a new friend in August 2022 (Credit: Getty)

Seven months later the pair married in the historic Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, before celebrating with 400 of their closest friends and family at the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the King’s official residence in Edinburgh. 

They also enjoyed a cocktail party on the Royal Yacht Britannia on the eve of their wedding – family connections much? 

In September 2023, the former professional athlete opened up about the difficulties he faced when adjusting from playing rugby and becoming a member of the royal family on the ITV reality show Grand Slammers. 

“Everyone thinks that just by marrying Zara that means it’s all fine and dandy…but that doesn’t stop the fact that you need a job. And it’s not that easy, you know – you get quite institutionalised into rugby, it’s a way of life and you leave the game and that’s not there,” Mike reflected.

“I don’t think you can ever sort of describe when you’re so used to being around that many people, and understanding, because of it being ingrained in you, where you fit in to then not being that person.”

“Zara would say if she was honest it was probably a year it took me to figure out what I was, who I was going to be. You’ve got to then go carve where the next path is – you can rever replace going to work with 34 of your best friends every day.”

The couple describe their relationship as “loving” and “playful.” (Credit: Getty)

In December that same here, Mike and Zara shed further light on their relationship on the BBC sports podcast Seven: Rob Burrow

“We basically call each other munchkins a lot – I don’t know why that started but it has stuck,” Mike shared with a laugh. 

“I will let Zara decide whether she wants to give away what I am down in her phone as,” he continued, his wife chiming in to confirm that Mike was in her phone as “something else” that ended with “kitten.”

Zara also confirmed that the pair enjoyed “going out” together, and their backgrounds as professional athletes also contributed to the strength of their love. 

“[We are] quite competitive…but in a loving way,” Mike also shared.

The Tindall’s (with the exception of little Lucas) on the way to an Easter service in 2023. (Credit: Getty)

Who are Mike and Zara Tindall’s kids? 

Their firstborn child, a daughter they named Mia Grace Tindall, was born on January 17, 2014. 

Two years later the family of three was struck by strategy after Zara suffered a miscarriage, just weeks after publicly announcing the pregnancy. The royal then experienced a second miscarriage shortly after. 

To celebrate 12 years of marriage, Mike shared this AI generated ‘Barbie-fied’ image of himself and Zara (Credit: Instagram)

Speaking on this emotionally charged time in an interview with BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent, Zara said the hardest thing about the entire experience was that “everyone knew.”

“Very much when things like that happen, normally it’s just your family and friends, but unfortunately everyone knew about it.”

Fortunately, the couple’s wish for a second child was granted after Zara gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Lena Elizabeth Tindall, on June 18th, 2018. 

Almost three years later their family was completed by the arrival of baby boy Lucas Philip Tindall, who was born on March 21, 2021. 

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