Zara Tindall, 39, is Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest granddaughter and the only daughter of Princess Anne, 70. Zara married former England rugby captain Mike Tindall in 2011 and the couple have two daughters – Mia, six, and Lena, two. Zara and her brother Peter Phillips both live in Gloucestershire close to their mother Anne but this year the royals are unlikely to be able to unite to celebrate the festive period.
The Government’s rule of six has wreaked havoc with Britons’ Christmas plans and the Royal Family is no exception.
The coronavirus pandemic has led the Government to enforce strict social distancing measures forcing many to make new holiday plans.
The Royal Family traditionally mark Christmas with two key get-togethers.
The first is a lunch hosted by the Queen and Buckingham Palace for extended royal family members – last year Zara, Mike, Mia and Lena were among guests.
The second is the Christmas Day gathering at the Queen’s Sandringham House in Norfolk where royals arrive on Christmas Eve and depart on Boxing Day.
This year neither of these gatherings are expected to go ahead and Zara and Mike will be considering fresh plans.
Princess Anne lives a stone’s throw away from the couple at Gatcombe Park House and spending Christmas there may be the most appealing option.
However, Zara’s brother Peter also lives nearby and has two daughters of his own – Savannah and Isla.
While Princess Anne may wish to have all her grandchildren in one place on Christmas Day if the rule of six is still in place this won’t be possible.
Zara and her brother Peter are extremely close, as are their daughters who enjoy pony-riding together.
However, the pandemic means the Phillips and the Tindalls will likely have to take it in turns to visit Anne on Christmas Day.
Limits on the numbers of people who can currently socialise mean Anne and her husband Timothy Lawrence will only be allowed to host four people at a time.
Christmas is not the only key event to have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Princess Anne turned 70 on August 15 but her birthday plans had to be put on hold.
Speaking on The One Show in August, Mike said: “We did have plans, it would have been up in Scotland, but with COVID everything has been scaled back a bit.
Asked about Princess Anne, Mike said: “She’s just an incredible woman in terms of how much work she can get through.”
He added: “We will be doing something but I am going to keep my lips sealed.”
The Queen is said to be very fond of Zara and Mike and appreciates their laid back ways.
Royal author and editor of Majesty Magazine Ingrid Seward previously told the Sun: “The Queen has always adored Zara and is so proud of her riding success.
“They have a lot in common as they talk horses and the Queen has invested in several horses for her.”
According to Ms Seward, the Queen appreciated the dram-averse Zara and Mike and a time when the royal rift between Harry and William was at it’s worst.
She added: “They are certainly light relief. She can be herself around them and she does not care for the alleged feuding among William and Harry.”