Sunday 22 October 2017

Why we should all be more like Zara and Mike Tindall - the thoroughly 'normal' British royals

Mike Tindall, Zara Tindell and their daughter Mia Tindall pose for a photograph during day three of The Big Feastival at Alex James' Farm on August 28, 2016 in Kingham, Oxfordshire. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Mike Tindall, Zara Tindell and their daughter Mia Tindall pose for a photograph during day three of The Big Feastival at Alex James' Farm on August 28, 2016 in Kingham, Oxfordshire. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Mike Tindall carries his daughter Mia Tindall on his shoulders at the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, Britain, June 11, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Mike Tindall carries daughter Mia Tindall (holding a riding crop) on his shoulders after watching Zara Tindall compete in the cross country phase of the Badminton Horse Trials on May 7, 2016 in Badminton, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall attend the Magic Millions Raceday on January 14, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall leave after a service of thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday at St Paul's cathedral on June 10, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips, the daughter of The Princess Royal, arrives at Cheltenham Racecourse with her boyfriend Rugby player Mike Tindall during the first day of The Annual National Hunt Festival on March 15, 2005 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, walks her dogs with her boyfriend Mike Tindall, who plays for the England rugby team at the Gatcombe Horse Trials, Glos August 8, 2004 in Tetbury, England. (Photo by Carl De Souza/Getty Images)
Mike Tindall with his wife Zara Phillips aboard Artemis Ocean Racing II during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Day Six on August 13, 2015 in Cowes, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips and daughter Mia Tindall (L) support husband Ex England rugby star Mike Tindall during the grueling Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon in Loch Tay Scotland on July 11, 2015 in Aberfeldy, Scotland. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Artemis Quadrathlon)
Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips at the ISPS Handa Mike Tindall 3rd annual celebrity golf classic at The Grove Hotel on May 8, 2015 in Hertford, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips attends the celebrity golf classic at Mannings Heath Golf Club on May 20, 2013 in Horsham, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall attend the Rugby For Heroes Charity Gala Dinner at Twickenham Stadium on May 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
Zara Phillips, the eldest granddaughter of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, arrives for her wedding to England rugby player Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
England rugby player Mike Tindall (L) and his new wife Britain's Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, leave after their wedding ceremony at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / DYLAN MARTINEZ/POOL
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall leave their royal wedding rehearsal at Canongate Kirk on July 29, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips will marry England rugby player Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk on Saturday
Zara Phillips watches husband Mike Tindall during the Pro-Am prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 25, 2016 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Mia Tindall yawns as she rides on her father Mike Tindall's shoulders as they attend the Gatcombe Horse Trails at Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton on March 26, 2016 in Stroud, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Eleanor Steafel

She may be the Queen's eldest grand-daughter, but Zara Tindall has never seemed like a princess.

And when she married a great hulking rugby player from North Yorkshire with a wonky nose and a fondness for a pint or two, she sealed her status as the most "normal" member of her famous family.

Zara and Mike Tindall have always looked as if they know how to enjoy life. Whenever they are photographed, they always seem to be falling about laughing after sharing a private joke or swinging their adorable little girl Mia between them in a field on the edge of some kind of sporting event.

Here's why the Tindalls are the royals you could picture being friends with...

They had a thoroughly normal wedding (aside from the guest list)

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England rugby player Mike Tindall (L) and his new wife Britain's Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, leave after their wedding ceremony at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / DYLAN MARTINEZ/POOL
 

The groom arrived with his rugby mates and chewed gum outside the church.

The bride wore an off-the-peg dress, said she would keep her maiden name and promised to honour, not to obey.

The guests may have included the Queen, but when Zara and Mike Tindall wed in Edinburgh in July 2011, there was none of the high pomp and ceremony that had marked the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey three months before.

And there was not a politician in sight. This was a relaxed, modern affair in glorious sunshine, a private wedding for friends at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

They even decided to forgo the traditional post wedding honeymoon and went back to their day jobs on the Monday.

They're not afraid of a PDA

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Zara Phillips and daughter Mia Tindall (L) support husband Ex England rugby star Mike Tindall during the grueling Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon in Loch Tay Scotland on July 11, 2015 in Aberfeldy, Scotland. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Artemis Quadrathlon)
 

In the past couple of weeks they have been photographed canoodling in the stands at Wimbledon and on a beach in Ibiza.

Looking like a pair of love-struck teenagers on a post-A levels party holiday, the couple messed about in a beachside bar with friends, cuddling and relaxing like any frazzled parent of a toddler would love to.

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge give each other the faintest of mushy looks, the Internet goes berserk, but Zara and Mike Tindall have never been afraid to show their affection for one another in public.

The Queen thinks Mike is a 'proper man'

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Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall leave after a service of thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday at St Paul's cathedral on June 10, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
 

A seal of approval if ever there was one. Former Tatler editor Catherine Ostler told last week how Tindall overcame "discomfort" with aspects of royal life to forge one of the strongest relationships in the royal family.

"The Queen, according to one source, thinks Mike is 'a proper man'," writes Ostler.

"No doubt she sees a partnership characterised by those rarest of Royal traits: stability, respect, a zinging attraction and genuine affection."

They dress their little girl in high street clothes

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Mike Tindall carries his daughter Mia Tindall on his shoulders at the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, Britain, June 11, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
 

Little Prince George and Princess Charlotte always look unbelievably adorable in the traditional outfits they always seem to be dressed in, but they must watch their cousin Mia yomping about in her GAP Kids t-shirts and leggings and think she looks altogether more comfy.

But then, maybe it's a case of like mother like daughter. When Zara was snapped on holiday this week, she was wearing a £25 playsuit from Spanish high street favourite, Pull and Bear.

Zara doesn't consider herself to be royal

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Zara Phillips watches husband Mike Tindall during the Pro-Am prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 25, 2016 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
 

She has spoken in the past about how she is glad she is perceived as being more ordinary than some of her famous family. "I've been very lucky," she said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

"My parents didn't give us titles, so we've been able to have a slightly more 'normal' upbringing. As soon as you've got a title it's very difficult to shed it. My brother and I have been very lucky like that, being able to find our own way."

She added that she doesn't even consider herself to be royal. "But they are my family, so I obviously kind of am," she conceded.

Telegraph.co.uk

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