Zara and Mike Tindall's relationship in pictures, as the rugby star's confirmed for 'I'm A Celebrity'

·10-min read
Mike Tindall will be the first member of the Royal Family to appear on a reality TV show. (Getty Images)
Mike Tindall will be the first member of the Royal Family to appear on a reality TV show. (Getty Images)

Out of all of the members of the Royal Family, Mike and Zara Tindall’s relationship seems to be the most ‘normal’.

Not because of their relationship itself, but because they’re not working royals, and have done their best to ensure that they and their three children lead down-to-earth, normal lives.

Piercing her tongue as a teenager earned Zara a bit of a ‘Royal Rebel’ reputation from some tabloids and traditionalists, and she had been known to throw caution to the wind when it comes to royal protocol.

Plus, her and her brother Peter Phillips are the only two of the Queen’s grandchildren who didn’t carry the Mountbatten-Windsor surname from birth.

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)

Princess Anne (somewhat of a rebel herself) and her then husband Captain Mark Phillips refused to give the siblings royal titles, and they took his surname instead.

Read more: Zara and Mike Tindall regularly cash in on their royal status — so why aren’t the usual critics outraged?

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.

Throughout their relationship however, the couple have remained about as down-to-earth as you can get when one of you is the Queen’s eldest granddaughter. Zara have never been a recipient of the Civil List, and the couple fund their lives from their respective sporting careers, and sponsorship deals relating to them.

Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall attend Wimbledon in 2021
Mike and Zara Tindall have been married for 11 years and have three children together. (Getty Images)

Mike hung up the boots to his 75-cap international rugby career in 2014, but is still heavily involved in the sport, namely through his rugby podcast, The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby, (where he occasionally drops insight into his relationship with the young royal and her family), whilst Zara still continues to compete competitively in equestrian events as recently as September 2022.

Read more: Mike Tindall says 'amazing' Queen always made him feel part of Royal Family

Now, Mike Tindall is the first member of the Royal Family (via marriage or otherwise) to partake in a reality TV show, and will be joining other famous faces down-under in the new season of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here when it begins on 6 November.

As the former rugby player joins the cast of I’m A Celebrity..., we take a look back at Mike and Zara Tindall’s relationship timeline.

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.”

The centre was called up to be in the starting 15 for the dramatic final won by Jonny Wilkinson's dramatic last-minute drop goal, but he did send 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

After a few months of spending a lot of time together, their relationship “went to the next level” and the two became official.

“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)


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.

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.

Read more: Inside the relaxed royal wedding of Zara and Mike Tindall

 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, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate, and Prince Harry, 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 (who was also known by her married title, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark). 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. Mike shared his thanks to well-wishers on Twitter, declaring it the “best day” of his life.

“Thanks so much for all your kind messages,” he wrote. “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)


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.”

Read more: Zara Tindall opens up about the impact her miscarriages had on husband Mike

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)

December 2020

Foregoing the tradition that Buckingham Palace usually announces expecting pregnancies, Mike revealed that he and Zara were expecting a third baby on his podcast, The Good, The Bad & The Rugby.

“It’s been a good week for me, had a little scan last week – third Tindall on its way,” Mile told his co-hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne.

Soon after the announcement, a Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen and Prince Philip are “delighted”.

The spokesman said: “Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh are aware and delighted.”

“I’d like a boy this time. I've got two girls; I would like a boy,” added Mike on his podcast. “I’ll love it whatever, whether a boy or a girl—but please be a boy.”

Read more: Is there a protocol for royal births?

Zara and Mike Tindall with their son Lucas at the Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials in Norfolk
Zara and Mike Tindall welcomed their son Lucas in 2022. (Getty Images)

21 March, 2021

Sure enough, a few months later, the couple’s third child, and first son, Lucas Philip Tindall was born.

Mike later went into details about his son’s birth, again on his podcast, revealing that the couple didn’t make it to a hospital in time, and Zara had to give birth in their bathroom.

“A little baby boy arrived at my house!” Mike told his co-hosts, adding that a friend of the couple was with them “and recognized that we wouldn't have got to the hospital in time…[sic]

“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.’”

Read more: Where is Zara Tindall's baby in the line of succession?

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 his wife 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”.

“It's like the world has lost their grandmother in some ways,” he said.