Mike Tindall has spoken of how the Royal Family ‘came together overnight’ following the death of the Queen.
The ex-England rugby ace, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, also revealed he is ‘full of regret’ for not asking the Queen more questions during his time with her.
Tindall reflected on his relationship with the Queen in a special episode of his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby.
Mike Tindall has spoken of how the Royal Family ‘came together overnight’ following the death of the Queen
Tindall reflected on his relationship with the Queen in a special episode of his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby
The ex-England rugby ace, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, also revealed he is ‘full of regret’ for not asking the Queen more questions during his time with her
He said: ‘It’s been sad, emotional but happy. In some ways amazing. To see the family come so close together overnight.
‘You never predict it. A 96-year-old lady, you know it’s going to happen but you’re never ready for when it does.
‘Watching what Zara had to go through, obviously she loved the Queen beyond everything else. Their connection with horses, they had a real bond around that.
‘It’s like the world has lost its grandmother in some way.’
He continued: ‘I also have loads of regrets about not asking her so many more things… Having nervousness when you sit there get that lucky seat of being sat next to her.
‘Going back through history and everything she’s possibly seen; 15 prime ministers, I don’t know how many presidents.
Mike, 43, told fellow podcast hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne that the world had ‘lost its grandmother’ in some way
James Haskell (left) admitted he woke up with a ‘dull ache’ in the days following the Queen’s death and even shed tears over the news
‘To go through everything when she’s meeting dictators she has to stay neutral she has to perform her duty.’
Later in the podcast, he said the Royal Family had been ‘blown away’ by tributes from members of the public.
‘You expect an outpouring of love but I think how it was, the world leasers that came in accepted their invitation without question. Immediately came back and said “yeah we’re coming”,’ he said, adding there was ‘no jostling for positions’ between the hugely important guests.
Talking about the Queen’s funeral arrangements, which she was consulted on before her death, Mike revealed he had been told a story (although he could not verify it) about the plane that was due to fly Her late Majesty’s coffin from Scotland back to London.
He said the plane that was originally intended to carry her was too small, and instead officials had suggested a larger plane that had been used to carry the bodies of servicemen back from Afghanistan.
Upon hearing this, the Queen reportedly wrote a note that said: ‘If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for me.’
Mike added: ‘It sort of sums her up that it was “her boys”.’
As other podcast hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne admitted they had shed tears following the Queen’s death, James said he ‘woke up every single morning with… a dull ache internally’ that someone so remarkable had passed away.
He added: ‘For me she was the greatest role model and she was the best of us.’
Speaking about the Queen’s state funeral which was attended by some 2,000 world leaders, foreign royals and civilians, Mike admitted the family didn’t necessarily realise how big the televised event – watched by an estimated 4 billion people worldwide – was until he switched on the highlights later on.
Mike Tindall officially became part of the Royal Family in 2011 (pictured on his wedding day to Zara Tindall) but he revealed he first met the Queen at school in 1992
He added it was ‘positive’ to be a part of the funeral because so many people showed unity in lining up to pay their respects to Her late Majesty.
Mike also praised the Queen’s strength in keeping some parts of herself private from the rest of the world – using the example of how Her late Majesty sat alone at the funeral of her beloved Prince Philip.
He said: ‘Because of where the pandemic was at that time, she made the real statement to everyone else – unfortunately our government wasn’t watching – of how he needed to be.’
The ex-England star appeared to be referring to reports a party was held in 10 Downing Street the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Although Mike officially joined the Royal Family in 2011 when he married Zara, he revealed he had actually met the Queen 19 years earlier in 1992, when she came to visit his school, Queen Elizabeth Grammar, on its 400th anniversary.
‘I think I was in a science class and she came in… got the Bunsen burner on,’ he said. ‘I got to say hello to her then.’
As the Royal Family and the nation gets used to the new monarch, King Charles, Mike revealed old habits die hard.
‘I almost curtseyed to the King the other day,’ he said. ‘I was just following behind my wife, I saw her curtsey and fortunately didn’t… it was a lower bow.’
He added he ‘styled it out alright’ and hopefully got away with it.