Happy birthday Mike Tindall In celebration of the rugby star’s 45th birthday, we take a closer look at his bond with his beloved in-laws, the royal family.
The sportsman is married to Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne and granddaughter of the late Queen. The duo tied the knot in July 2011 with Mike quickly becoming an integral part of the royal family.
Speaking of his royal debut, the dad-of-three credited the late Queen Elizabeth II for making him feel particularly welcome.
He told The Telegraph: “I can only say how kind they’ve been to me, and how welcoming they’ve been to me since joining the family. And how they’ve made my family welcome. I’ve always felt part of it and I think that’s down to what an amazing woman the Queen is. They’re a fantastic family.”
Known for his great sense of humour, Mike made headlines in 2019 when he made the monarch giggle at Royal Ascot. The trickster had everyone in hysterics when he took off his top hat to reveal a miniature hat hidden inside.
Mike also shares a close bond with his mother-in-law, Princess Anne. The pair are both avid sports fans with a passion for rugby. Mike is a former English rugby union player and was a member of the English squad that won the 2003 World Cup, whilst Princess Anne is an ardent fan of the Scottish rugby team, having been patron of the Scottish Rugby Union since 1986.
The Princess Royal hardly ever misses a home match and has even travelled abroad to support the Scottish national team.
As for the Prince and Princess of Wales, Mike is incredibly close to his cousin-in-law, Prince William.
The pair frequently joke with each other and always opt for warm greetings in lieu of more formal handshakes.
And of course, who can forget Mike’s comical remarks about the Princess of Wales following her training session at Twickenham Stadium last year.
Speaking on his podcast The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, Mike was asked by his co-hosts about the Princess’s rugby skills. He revealed how he wanted to find out how Kate did so he could tease her on the family WhatsApp group.
“I texted Ellis [Genge] and said, ‘Mate, please tell me anything she messed up on’ so I could sort of… family WhatsApp group, get to her, and he said, ‘No she was actually pretty good, and she was really good at kicking,’ and I was like [sighs]. But she has this competitive nature,” Mike said.
Royal watchers were also delighted when William, Kate and Anne all appeared on the podcast in September 2023, with Mike teasing the Prince and Princess of Wales about their competitive nature.
When it comes to the Wales clan, Mike shares a sweet bond with Prince Louis who nearly stole the show at the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.
Mike humorously gave Louis the ‘I’m watching you’ hand gesture as the cheeky young royal sang and pulled a number of funny expressions.
Kate, who was sitting next to the five-year-old, could be seen laughing at the sweet exchange between her son and the former rugby player.
William and Kate aren’t Zara’s only cousins Mike reportedly gets on well with.
The dad-of-three moreover enjoys spending quality time with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Speaking of the four-day-long Jubilee celebrations, Mike revealed how they “had a good cousins’ lunch on the Thursday.
That was a highlight.” Beyond this, the pro rugby player is frequently pictured hugging Eugenie and Beatrice in a relaxed manner, indicative of their close, playful friendship.
Over the years, Mike has similarly been photographed engaging joyously with Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and his brother-in-law, Peter Phillips.
At last year’s Cheltenham Festival, Mike twinned with Peter as they stepped out wearing matching Peaky Blinder style caps.
And all of the royals showed off their moves at King Charles’s coronation concert at Windsor Castle in May.