Mike and Zara Tindall met during in Australia in 2003, when he was participating in England’s Rugby World Cup campaign. They were introduced to each other by Zara’s cousin Prince Harry, reportedly meeting for the first time in the Manly Wharf bar in Sydney. 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.
She said: “It kind of went from there.”
Zara was on her gap year when she met her future husband, according to Mike.
He recounted to the Daily Mail: “She was on her gap year and in Australia with friends.
“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.'”
The couple picked back up on their relationship when they both returned to the UK, with Zara inviting Mike to join her at the North Cotswold Ball.
The relationship became official in April 2004.
Mike said: “I think it was April 27 – that would be the official date we said we were going to go out with each other.”
Despite their relationship the couple maintained their sporting careers, and their shared interest has also been valuable in making their relationship work.
Zara told the Telegraph: “He understands the pressures and vice versa, which obviously helps, but it actually started from becoming very good friends.”
Mike has also described his wife as being an “awesome support” throughout his career.
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The royal couple first moved in together in 2009, into a property on Princess Anne’s royal estate, Gatcombe Park.
They later moved to nearby Cheltenham, before moving back to the estate in early 2013.
The couple announced their engagement in December 2010, and married in July 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
A private ceremony, the wedding was attended by many members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, Princess Beatrice and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The bride wore a full-skirted silk and duchess satin gown with a chevron pleated corseted bodice, designed by Stewart Parvin, and her diamond Meander tiara was a loan from her mother, Princess Anne.
Their wedding made a change from most other royals, who have a preference towards classic royal venues like Westminster Abbey or Windsor.
Mike and Zara had their first child, a daughter, Mia Grace Tindall, in January 2014.
The couple announced they were expecting again in 2016 – but Zara tragically suffered a miscarriage.
In January 2018, Zara confirmed she was expecting again, and in June her second daughter Lena was born.
By royal standards, the couple are pretty low-key – they do not hold any royal titles and do not take on official work on behalf of the monarch.
Due to age old customs, as the child of a daughter of the monarch, Zara and her brother Peter were never entitled to the rank of “Her/His Royal Highness” in the first place, like her cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The couple are both highly accomplished athletes – Zara is a medal-winning equestrian like her mother.
She won silver at the 2012 Olympics, awarded to her by her mother, Princess Anne.
While Mike is a former professional rugby player for England.