Mike Tindall’s father says his daughter-in-law Zara is ‘so pleased’ she wasn’t given an official title because she’s ‘been able to live her own life’.
Despite being the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara, 39, was never given a HRH title after her father Mark Phillips declined Her Majesty’s offer of an earldom – meaning his and Princess Anne’s children subsequently held no title.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Philip Tindall, 73, told how the royal has always been ‘so pleased’ about the decision – adding that Zara and Mike, who wed in 2011, have a small circle of friends ‘they trust and rely on’.
He also admitted that despite their happy marriage, Mike’s maternal grandmother was ‘dead against’ the pair’s nuptials and thought they would be shunned because ‘in her day, royalty married royalty’.
Mike Tindall’s father Philip says his daughter-in-law Zara Tindall is ‘so pleased’ she wasn’t given a title. Pictured: Mike with father Philip and mother Linda last year
Philip also admitted that despite their happy marriage, Mike’s maternal grandmother was ‘dead against’ the rugby player and Zara’s nuptials (pictured in 2011) and thought they would be shunned because ‘in her day, royalty married royalty’
‘Zara always says she’s so pleased she wasn’t given a title because they’ve been able to live their own lives,’ said Philip.
He explained that the couple, who have two children – Mia, six, and Lena, two – have a number of good friends they ‘can be sure of’ and ‘trust and rely on completely’.
Mike, 41, started playing for England in 2000 and quickly met and moved in with Zara, with Buckingham Palace announcing the couple’s engagement in December 2010.
Speaking of the wedding, Philip went on: ‘Linda’s mum was dead against it. In her day, royalty married royalty and she thought the wedding would be shunned.’
Mike, 41, started playing for England in 2000 and quickly met and moved in with Zara (pictured together, centre in 2019), with Buckingham Palace announcing the couple’s engagement in December 2010
Sadly Linda’s mother died before she could meet Zara, but Philip said: ‘I know she’d have loved her as much as we do because she and Mike are perfect for each other.’
During the start of the couple’s relationship, both their families would spend weekends having lunch and watching rugby together.
Mike retired from professional rugby in 2014 and has been devoting much of his time to working with charities including Parkinson’s UK, after watching his father battle the disease for 18 years.
Philip explained that the couple, who have children Mia, six, and Lena, two, (pictured together) have a number of good friends they ‘can be sure of’ and ‘trust and rely on completely’
The former rugby star previously admitted it’s been hard not seeing his parents, who are isolating in West Yorkshire and are in the high risk category – with his father suffering from Parkinson’s and his mother battling with asthma.
The families are keeping in contact with video calls, and Mike revealed they are taking as many photos as possible of Lena because ‘so much changes in six months’ at that age.
And despite living on the same Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire as Princess Anne, 69, they have not seen Zara’s mother since the lockdown due to the fact she’s been busy with charity work.
Mike retired from professional rugby in 2014 and has been devoting much of his time to working with charities including Parkinson’s UK. Pictured, Mike and Zara attending Easter Sunday service, St George’s Chapel in 2018
The family have three dogs, ten horses, as well as a similar number of cars including Land Rovers, a horsebox and a Jaguar F-Type.
Gatcombe is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, and is just a few miles away from Highgrove, Prince Charles’ home in nearby Tetbury.
The Queen bought the Grade II-listed manor house for her only daughter and her then husband Captain Mark Phillips as a wedding present, and the couple moved there in 1977 – raising their two children, Peter and Zara, on the estate.
Today Mike is competing in a cycling challenge – Raid Local – in aid of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust charity, of which he is patron.