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British RoyalsFeaturesHistory

Royal Weddings: Wedding of Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall

Just months after the high profile wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, Zara Phillips married her longtime boyfriend, Mike Tindall. It wasn’t a wedding full of cameras and politicians but an event with a down to earth feeling.

Zara Phillips is the granddaughter of The Queen and daughter of Anne, Princess Royal. Her father, Captain Mark Phillips, an English Olympic gold medal-winning horseman, was also known as a Second Lieutenant in The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. Both her parents were accomplished equestrians, a path Zara too would follow, leading her to compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games. It was announced Zara would not take her soon-to-be husband’s last name because of her success as a world-class champion equestrian, but as of March 2016, Zara now goes by the last name Tindall.

Mike Tindall, a former English Rugby player, met Zara in Sydney on the night England beat Australia for the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Neither was looking for romance, but Tindall was smitten by her beauty. The pair had developed a deep connection, which was apparent by 2004 when they moved in together. As a person with traditional values and a love of sports, Mike was the man for Zara.

After a long courtship, on 21 December 2010, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall. Before the wedding, the couple hosted a party on the royal yacht Britannia, which is anchored in Leith. Just like an ordinary couple, Zara and Mike attended a ceremony rehearsal at the Kirk to make sure the wedding went off without a hitch.

The wedding took place at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. Scotland was chosen as the location of the wedding due to Zara’s close Scottish ties and wonderful memories spent at Balmoral with The Queen, making this wedding all the more special. On the day of the wedding, the sun was shining as guests arrived for the lavish but private ceremony. As thousands of well-wishers lined the streets, Zara arrived at the church where she would marry the love of her life.

As Zara stepped out of a black Bentley, the public got their first glance at her beautiful wedding dress. It was a silk duchesse and off-the-peg ivory silk faille designed by Stewart Parvin. The drop waisted dress and cathedral train were paired with the Meander Tiara loaned to Zara by her mother. Upon entering the Kirk, guests were swept away by the white lilies, carnations and roses while listening to The Queen’s Pipe Major, Derek Potter.

Though the press and public were not allowed in the event, the newly married couple did emerge from the church where they would share a kiss for approximately 6,000 onlookers. It was a beautiful moment that the public was able to witness.

After the ceremony, guests were to treated to a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a party which included The Queen along with the rest of the Royal Family. Other guest included other famous sports stars, musicians and friends of the family. The over 400 guests began the festivities with drinks, followed by dinner and dancing. Their wedding was one of family and love.

Zara and Mike’s first child, Mia Grace Tindall, was born on 17 January 2014. Their younger daughter, Lena, was born in June 2018.