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Zara and Mike Tindall's relationship in pictures as they mark 12-year anniversary with Barbie AI figures

Zara and Mike Tindall pose for a photo at Ascot 2023
Zara and Mike Tindall attend Ascot 2023. (Getty Images)

Zara and Mike Tindall have just marked their 12th wedding anniversary - by posting AI versions of themselves as Barbie and Ken to Instagram.

"Thanks for the messages, it’s been a great 12 years. Feel we are getting younger!!!" Mike captioned the post.

The 44-year-old former rugby player and current podcast host is regularly active on Instagram, which is just one of the reasons why he and Zara, 42, appear to be some of the more 'normal' and 'down to earth' members of the Royal Family.

Both Mike and Zara are not working royals, and Princess Anne ensured that Zara had as normal a childhood as possible by refusing to give her a 'princess' title, and giving her the last name Phillips instead of Mountbatten-Windsor.

So it didn’t seem as too much of a surprise when she chose someone ‘normal’ to spend the rest of her life with. If you can call an international World Cup-winning rugby player ‘normal’, but it's all relative.

Zara and Mike Tindall: Read more

Zara and Mike Tindall's relationship timeline

November 2003

Zara and Mike first met in Australia during the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The young royal was on her gap year at the time, and travelling down under with friends, while the rugby player had been called up to the England squad for the tournament.

Mike had been dropped from the team for the semi-finals, so went to Manly Wharf bar in Sydney "for a beer with two others who weren't playing, Martin Corry and Austin Healey," he told the Daily Mail in 2011. "Zara was in the same bar; we got introduced but didn't speak that much."

Zara Phillips and boyfriend Mike Tindall on thr grid prior to the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on July 11, 2004 in Northamptonshire, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Zara and Mike Tindall met whilst they were both in Australia. (Getty Images)

Healey gave Mike 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."

So he sent her a message and the two started talking. Once they were both back in the UK, Zara invited Mike to the North Cotswold Ball as her date.

27 April, 2004

"I think it was April 27 (2004) - that would be the official date we said we were going to go out with each other," Mike told the Daily Mail.

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall pose together at
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at a charity dinner and concert together in July 2004. (Getty Images)

2009

After several years of dating, the couple eventually moved in together on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire. Later in 2009, they moved into their own home together in Cheltenham, not far from Mike’s club of Bath, and where Zara would train in Gatcombe Park.

Prince Harry, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall pose for a photograph
Mike Tindall had met Zara's cousin Prince Harry several times as a member of the England rugby squad before meeting his future wife. (Getty Images)

December 2010

Just a month after Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Zara’s cousin, Prince William, to Kate Middleton, Mike proposed to Zara in the comfort of their Regency townhouse in Cheltenham.

"I was upstairs, plucking up the nerve to do it, while Zara was downstairs watching television," he recounted in a 2011 interview. "It was all about shock value — I wanted to catch her when it was quiet and she wasn't expecting anything."

Zara Phillips and her fiance Mike Tindall pose at their Gloucestershire home, after they announced their engagement on December 21, 2010
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall announced their engagement in December, 2010. (Getty Images)

"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 completely in shock. Then, when she stopped laughing, she said, ‘Yes.’ That was a relief."

Speaking about the timing of their engagement, he later added, "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. I thought I'd better get on with it."

July 30, 2011

The happy couple were married seven months later in July 2011. The ceremony was a fairly pared-back occasion compared to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April of the same year.

Of course, it was only ‘pared back’ as much as could be for a wedding that counted the Queen and several members of the Royal Family as guests.

 Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips depart after their Royal wedding at Canongate Kirk on July 30, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The sun shone down on Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips as they were married in Edinburgh in 2011. (Getty Images)

The couple chose Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for the ceremony, and Holyroodhouse for the reception, where 400 of their friends and family joined them

Zara wore an ‘off-the-rack’ dress (not a bespoke design) by Stewart Parvin, which featured a chevron-detailed bustier in ivory silk. She wore a veil, Jimmy Choo shoes, and a Greek tiara lent to the bride by her mother Princess Anne.

The diamond tiara originally belonged to her great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, Prince Phillip’s mother. Princess Alice gave the tiara to the Queen as a wedding present in 1947, and in turn, the Queen later gave it to Princess Anne.

Zara Philips leaves Canongate Kirk on the afternoon of her wedding to Mike Tindall on July 30, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Zara Philips wore a diamond tiara, on loan from her mother Princess Anne, on her wedding day. (Getty Images)

8 July, 2013

Buckingham Palace announced that Zara and Mike were expecting their first child together, due in the New Year.

17 January, 2014

The couple’s first child, Mia Grace Tindall, was born on 17 January, 2014.

“Thanks so much for all your kind messages,” Mike wrote on Twitter. “Definitely the best day of my life today; so happy! The girls are both doing great!”

Mike and Zara Tindall with their daughters Mia and Lena (in her pram) at the Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park in 2018. (Getty Images)
Mike and Zara Tindall with their daughters Mia and Lena (in her pram) at the Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park in 2018. (Getty Images)

2016

Just a few weeks after announcing they were expecting their second child, a spokesperson revealed that the royal couple lost the baby around four months into Zara's pregnancy just before Christmas 2016.

18 June, 2018

The couple’s second daughter, Lena Elizabeth Tindall was born in 2018. A month later, Zara revealed that she had sadly suffered a second miscarriage before she became pregnant with Lena.

"I think that's the hardest thing in our situation, is that everyone knew," she told BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent in an emotional interview. "And very much when things like that happen, normally it's just your family and friends, but unfortunately everyone knew about it."

Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018
Zara Tindall was pregnant with her second child, Lena, at the wedding of her cousin, Prince Harry, to Meghan Markle in 2018. (Getty Images)

21 March, 2021

The couple’s third child, and first son, Lucas Philip Tindall was born in March 2021.

"A little baby boy arrived at my house!" Mike told his podcast co-hosts, adding that a friend of the couple was with them “and recognised 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.’"

Members of the Royal family (left to right, from front) Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank , Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, arrive at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022, for the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. - Leaders from around the world will attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The country's longest-serving monarch, who died aged 96 after 70 years on the throne, will be honoured with a state funeral on Monday morning at Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mike supported his wife and members of the Royal Family at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth. (Getty Images)

September 2022

Mike supported Zara and members of the Royal Family at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth. The days following the Queen's death were sad and emotional for the Royal Family, Tindall said, but it was "amazing in other ways to see the family come so close together overnight".

November 2022

Mike appears on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, where he revealed he once "s*** dropped" in front of Princess Anne. Zara also appeared on the show briefly when Mike was voted out, and the pair were filmed hugging as they reunited.

July 2023

Mike celebrates his and Zara's 12th wedding anniversary with an AI-generated picture of themselves as Barbie and Ken.