Zara and Mike Tindall's sweet love story

Katie Frost
Prima
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Prima

Zara and Mike Tindall have welcomed the newest member of their family.

The baby girl is their second child together and a sibling to Mia Tindall, born in 2014. Here's the story of how the Queen's oldest granddaughter and equestrian champion got together with the former England rugby captain, from the early days of friendship to tying the knot.

Their romance started in a bar

Zara, who had been in an on-off relationship with jockey, Richard Johnson, revealed she met her future husband at the Manly Wharf bar in Sydney during the 2003 Rugby World Cup. In an interview with Australian television programme, 60 Minutes, Zara said the Yorkshire-born rugby star was drowning his sorrows after being dropped from the England squad before the semi-finals. 'It kind of went from there,' she noted.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Tindall has also shared his side of the story. 'She was on her gap year and in Australia with friends,' he recounted to The Daily Mail in 2011. 'Clive (Woodward, the coach) had just told me I was dropped for the semi-final, so I went out for a beer with two others who weren't playing, Martin Corry and Austin Healey. Zara was in the same bar; we got introduced but didn't speak that much. Later on, Austin gave me 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."'

Tindall sent the text and back home in the UK, the relationship blossomed. Zara invited the then Gloucester player to join her at the North Cotswold Ball, before things reached 'the next level'.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The relationship became 'official' in April 2004. 'I think it was April 27 (2004) – that would be the official date we said we were going to go out with each other,' he added. An introduction to Zara's mother, the Princess Royal, followed.

'Zara’s mum is a legend and her father is lovely too,' Mike said in 2008. 'My mates in Wakefield are forever asking how I fit in among the royal family but they are really down to earth.'

They remained focused on their sporting careers

Tindall and Zara remained devoted to their rugby and eventing careers, a shared passion which has likely to have been important in their relationship. Zara has spoken about meeting her husband after she found out her horse, Toytown, which she had planned to ride in the 2008 Olympics, had become injured. 'He met me just after I'd found out my horse had injured himself, so I was quite low and vulnerable,' she said previously, reports The Telegraph.

'No, he understands the pressures and vice versa, which obviously helps, but it actually started from becoming very good friends.'

Tindall has also described Zara as being an 'awesome support' throughout his career.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

They moved in to a property on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire before they settled in nearby Cheltenham in 2009. In 2012, Zara achieved her dream of winning a team silver at the London Olympics. The couple eventually moved back to Zara's mother's estate in January 2013.

The time was right for Tindall to propose

After over five years of dating, Tindall hinted that a royal wedding was around the corner. 'I don't think it is about whether we will get married but when,' he said in an interview with Hello! in 2009.

He added: 'Yes, it probably would be a white wedding –although sometimes I can see the attraction of sneaking away without telling anyone.'

The couple announced their engagement in December 2010. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were said to be 'delighted' at the news, while Zara was 'very happy' and thrilled with her engagement ring. 'Mike found it – I hinted what I liked, but he did it all himself,' she later said in an interview with Town & Country.

They married in July 2011 at a private wedding for friends and family at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Zara wore a dress by Stewart Parvin, a couturier to both the Queen and Princess Anne.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

They waited for the 'right window'" before having a baby

Before their marriage, Tindall revealed they were keen to have a family, but when the time was right in their careers. 'I wouldn't say we'll wait, we'll try and find a window,' he said at the launch of his new charity Rugby For Heroes in May 2012.

In July 2013, Buckingham Palace announced that the couple were expecting their first child. Their daughter, Mia Grace Tindall, was born in January 2014.

The couple announced they were expecting a second child in 2016, but Zara sadly suffered a miscarriage. Zara confirmed she was expecting another baby in January 2018. Her daughter was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on 18 June.

They enjoy the quiet life

'When we don't have to be somewhere, we are pretty low key,' Zara told Country Living in 2016. 'It's nice to go out with the dogs and explore the woods and fields that surround our house – I love the quiet and isolation of where we live.' As for socialising? A 'quiet Saturday night at a local pub' is the ideal night out for the Tindalls.

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