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British Royal Family

After meeting Mike Tindall in a Sydney bar, Zara Phillips was royally smitten: Here is their love story

She made the first move.

By Catie Powers
When it comes to the royal family, none are more relatable than Zara and Mike Tindall – and it's not just because they don't hold any titles or HRH statuses.
From their very first meeting in 2003, it was clear Zara and Mike were as down-to-earth as it comes.
Now, with three kids and lowkey public appearances, it seems not much has changed.
Here is their story.
Read on for Zara and Mike Tindall's love story. (Image: Getty)

How did Zara and Mike Tindall meet?

Just like Prince Frederick and Princess Mary, the pair met in Sydney, Australia! It was during the 2003 Rugby World Cup that their story began.
Former rugby player Mike had been dropped by the England team ahead of the semi-finals, and chose to watch the final game in Manly Wharf Pub.
It was here that he met equestrian Zara, who was instantly smitten with Mike and left her number with his friend.
"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 told the Daily Mail in 2011.
Clearly just as keen on Zara, the ex-rugby player sent her a message and the pair started talking.
A year later, they made things official.
"I think it was April 27—that would be the official date we said we were going to go out with each other," Mike told the Daily Mail.
It didn't take long for Zara's new boyfriend to be introduced to her parents – Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips.
Mike has long boasted about how welcoming the royal family has been since he joined the fold.
"Zara's mum is a legend and her father is lovely too," he said in 2008 interview.
WATCH: Mike Tindall makes sweetest comment about wife Zara. Article continues after video
More recently, in a 2022 interview with The Telegraph, Mike reinforced how "kind" all the royals have been to him.
"They've made my family welcome," the former footy player said.
"I've always felt part of it and I think that's down to what an amazing woman the Queen is. They're a fantastic family.
It was in 2008 that the couple moved to a property on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire. A year later, they relocated to their own place in Cheltenham.

When did Zara and Mike Tindall get engaged?

Not long after becoming roommates, Mike popped the question to Zara in December 2010.
At the time, an official statement from the royal family 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."
While he had been planning to propose for a long time, Mike confessed to the Daily Mail that it was seeing his brother and Prince William get engaged that prompted him to "get on with it".
Zara and Mike got married in 2011. (Image: Getty)
Mike later revealed more details about the low-key proposal to PEOPLE.
"She was on the sofa, so that made it easier," he said. "She was completely in shock and when she stopped laughing, she said, 'Yes.'"

When did Zara and Mike Tindall get married?

The nuptials came in 2011 in what was a private wedding at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. There were 400 friends and family invited to the service.
On the day, Zara stunned in a Stewart Parvin dress, who was a courtier to both The Queen and Princess Anne.

Who are Zara and Mike Tindall’s kids?

Three years after saying 'I do', the besotted couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Mia Grace.
Zara and Mike welcomed their first daughter, Mia, in 2014. (Image: Getty)
New dad Mike took to Twitter to share the exciting news: "Definitely the best day of my life today, so happy," he wrote. "The girls are both doing great!"
In June 2018, a year after they sadly experienced a miscarriage, the parents-of-one welcomed their second daughter, Lena Elizabeth.
"The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike's parents, Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news," an official statement read at the time.
Zara and Mike now share three children. (Image: Getty)
Two years later, Mike was overjoyed to announce 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. I'll love it whatever, whether a boy or a girl – but please be a boy," he said.
Mike's wishes were granted a year later as he and Zara welcomed their first son Lucas in quite unexpected circumstances.
"Arrived very quickly. Didn't make it to hospital. On the bathroom floor," he told his stunned fellow hosts.

Zara and Mike Tindall’s relationship now

These days, the couple are focusing on their parenting duties and Zara's equestrian career while making occasional royal appearances, both with and without their little ones.
Zara and Mike looked more loved up than ever as they attended Wimbledon in 2022. (Image: Getty)
Speaking about fatherhood while on ITV's Loose Women, the former sportsman revealed how he's teaching his kids to be gracious when it comes to losing.
"It's a balance - I let Mia win occasionally, we have races up the stairs and stuff, she'll race to her bedroom but I always make sure I beat her a few times because she absolutely goes mad - she's really competitive but it's part of making sure that she understands that she has to be able to take losing every now and again," he said.
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