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Princess Anne and Family

Zara at 40: Building a family of her own

Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

The daughter of the Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips, Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall (née Phillips) was born 15 May 1981 at 8:15 p.m. in the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London, weighing in at 7lbs and nine ounces. When Zara was born in 1981, at the request of her mother, she was not given an official title with the style of Royal Highness. Automatically, Zara is not entitled to royal status by birthright as she is the grandchild of a monarch in the female line. At the time of birth, Zara was sixth in line to the succession of the British throne; currently, she sits at 19th in line.

Zara met her future husband, Mike Tindall, a rugby union player, in 2003. At the time, he was playing for the England national team during their Rugby World Cup-winning campaign in Australia. It wasn’t until seven years later, on 21 December 2010, that Buckingham Palace announced Zara’s engagement.

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The statement said: “The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Zara Phillips to Mr Mike Tindall, son of Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall.”

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Tindall proposed with a “custom-designed diamond and platinum ring with a divided diamond band.” Because of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, The Queen gave her consent to the marriage during a meeting of the Privy Council on 10 May 2011. Prior to the wedding, the couple held a celebration on the royal yacht Britannia.

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Zara and Mike married on 30 July 2011 at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. With 400 guests in attendance, the marriage was officiated by the Reverend Neil Gardner. The bride wore an off-the-peg ivory silk dress designed by Stewart Parvin. The dress featured a chevron-pleated bodice, a dropped waist, and a cathedral-length train. To top it off, Zara wore the Meander Tiara to secure her veil. A reception was held at Holyrood Palace following the service.

The Tindalls resided in a £1.2 million home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, before moving onto the Gatcombe Park estate near Minchinhampton. On 17 January 2014, Zara gave birth to a daughter, Mia Grace, at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Mia, who is 20th in the line of succession, was christened on 30 November 2014 at St Nicholas Church in the village of Cherington.

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Zara had two more pregnancies that ended in miscarriage before her second child was born. On 18 June 2018, Zara welcomed her second daughter, Lena Elizabeth, at the Stroud Maternity Hospital. The couple’s third child, Lucas Philip, was born on 21 March 2021 at the family home in Gatcombe Park. Tindall is godmother to Prince George of Cambridge, the son of her cousin, the Duke of Cambridge.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.