While royal family outings often have an air of formality about them, Zara Tindall yesterday showcased her warm relationship with Prince Charles as she threw a friendly arm around him at Royal Ascot.
And the Prince of Wales biographer has revealed that the display of affection between the two is proof of the strong bond they share, which is much warmer than his relationship with his daughters-in-law, Meghan and Kate.
While the Prince of Wales is known to get on well with William and Harry’s wives, it’s Zara who has the closest bond with him.
Robert Jobson told the Sun: ‘Zara is blood family. He has known her since she was a baby so it is far closer than say his relationships with his daughter-in-laws.
‘Charles is closest to his sister Anne of all his siblings and has always been very supportive and affectionate towards his niece.’
Royal biographer Rob Jobson has revealed that Prince Charles is closer to his niece Zara Tindall, pictured together at Royal Ascot yesterday, than either of his daughters in law
Zara and Charles, pictured with Camilla while standing behind the Duchess of Cambridge at Royal Ascot yesterday, were seen with their arms around each other during the races
Yesterday, that close relationship was in evidence as Zara slung a friendly arm around her uncle’s shoulders while they caught up at Royal Ascot.
It was a level of affection that’s never been witnessed between Charles and either of his daughters-in-law, although he was been seen joking and laughing with the Duchess of Cambridge.
And he famously stepped in to walk Meghan down the aisle in May 2018, when her father Thomas Markle pulled out days before her wedding to Harry.
Zara, now 38, spent much of her childhood with her cousins William, 36, and Harry, 34, Prince Charles sons, who are only two and four years younger than she is.
Prince Charles was full of smiles as he affectionately wrapped an arm around and chatted to niece Zara, pictured together, at Royal Ascot yesterday
Zara appeared relaxed and to be enjoying herself as she caught up with her uncle and his wife Camilla at the races yesterday
During childhood visits to Highgrove, the family residence of the Prince of Wales in Tetbury, Zara would cause ‘chaos’ while playing with her younger cousin William.
The cousins have also remained close as adults and are often spotted enjoying days out together with their own children.
Prince Harry is godfather to Zara and Mike’s youngest daughter Lena and the Cambridges’ went to the Burnham Horse trials with the Tindall’s this year.
Zara, right, was also seen joking with her cousin Prince William, left, and husband Mike Tindall, middle, at the races in Berkshire yesterday
Just as Zara, William and Harry are all similar ages their children have also been born close together and enjoy playing with each other.
Mike told the Telegraph: ‘Lena and obviously Louis are similar ages and Mia’s sort of in between Charlotte and George.’
Although apparently closest to his niece, Charles does also show affection to his daughters in law and appears to have warmly welcomed them into the royal family.
The heir to the throne, pictured in the Royal Box during the first day of Royal Ascot in 2008 with Zara, is often seen smiling and embracing his niece who is a similar age to his own sons
Prince Charles, pictured with Zara at Gigaset Charity Polo Match in June 2015, is said to have always ‘been very supportive and affectionate towards his niece’
The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured at the Commonwealth Day service in 2015, appears to get along with her father-in-law well but the pair do not share as much contact as Charles and Zara
Body language expert Judi James said Charles, pictured with his sons and Meghan at Westminster Abbey in March, is often ‘slightly more formal’ when with Meghan or Kate
Pictures of him with eldest son William’s wife Kate often show the pair laughing together, even if they are stood a few steps apart.
Charles also has a special relationship with newest daughter in law Meghan, and stepped in to walk her down the aisle at her wedding last year.
Filmmaker John Bridcut, who made program Prince Charles at 70, told DailyMailTV that despite Charles’ public persona of being a cold, business-like royal, he is in fact a ‘caring, kind and sensitive’ soul – who has a close friendship with his sons.
He said: ‘There is a close relationship between father and son and I’m aware that he gets along very well with both the daughters-in-law.’