Olympic equestrian Zara Tindall, 38, and ex-England rugby player Mike, 40, are a royal force to be reckoned with. The level-headed couple are admired for their unpretentious manners and won over royal fans with their low-key wedding in 2011. They first met in Sydney in 2003 when Mike had just received some devastating news.
According to Zara they first met in a bar where Mike was drowning his sorrows after receiving some bad news.
The rugby player was out having a drink with teammates to ease the disappointment of being dropped from the England squad before the semi-finals, Zara told Australia’s 60 Minutes programme in 2012.
“It kind of went from there,” Zara told the programme.
Mike later told 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.’”
Mike texted her and they began dating when they were back in the UK.
Their relationship moved up a notch when Zara invited him to join her at the North Cotswold Ball.
Eight years later they tied the knot at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk on July 30, 2011.
The ceremony was attended by senior royals including the Queen and Prince Philip who travelled to Scotland especially for the big day.
Zara’s father, Captain Mark Phillips walked his daughter down the aisle.
Zara shone in a stunning Stewart Parvin wedding dress and veil topped with the Greek ‘Key’ tiara, lent to her by her mother, Princess Anne.
The delighted newlyweds posed for striking wedding snaps in Holyrood Abbey following the ceremony.