Thursday, April 14, 2011
The Other Royal Wedding: Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall
The happy couple, who were introduced by Prince Harry in a bar in 2003 during the Rugby World Cup in Sydney, has been dating for seven years. They were first spotted at the swank Met Bar in London, although they just claimed to be friends, and then on a date at the Badminton Horse Trials before making their relationship public. Before meeting the 6’2” 224 plays outside centre for Gloucester Rugby who she calls a ‘gentle giant,’ Zara had been involved in a tempestuous four year relationship with jockey Richard Johnson. Since meeting Tindall, the pair have settled down first on a rent free cottage on her mother’s Gatcombe estate but moved into a £800,000 three-story Georgian house in April 2009.
It was sport that brought them together. They seem to have appreciation for the trials and tribulations of their chosen sports. Tindall is often seen at Zara’s events, and she is a regular at his rugby matches. Zara is one of Britain's top equestrians and a former world three-day Eventing champion. Her fiancé, who plays for club side Gloucester, has been capped more than 60 times by his country and was part of the England team that won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Speaking to HELLO! Magazine last year, Mike, said "I don’t think it’s about whether we will get married but when. There's no doubt that I love Zara but it has to be the right time…And yes it probably will be a white wedding, although sometimes I can see the attraction of sneaking away without telling anyone." Reflecting on their relationship, "I just really liked her. It wasn't love at first sight - I wasn't looking for romance. But, naturally, I wasn't unmoved by her. She is a stunning woman. There was something there."
According to the Daily Mail, Zara said back in 2008, “I’m old-fashioned. I think they should ask you. Everyone at the rugby club seems to be getting married and having babies so they keeping asking me, ‘What about you?”
Zara and Mike have decided to get married in Scotland this summer on July 30th. This won’t be the first royal wedding north of the border. Princess Anne had her second wedding to now Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence in 1992 at a church near Balmoral. That decision had more to do with The Church of Scotland allowing divorced people to remarry in the church, while the Church of England does not. Sources say Zara and Mike are under pressure not to follow in her brother’s footsteps by selling the rights to the wedding to a tabloid like Hello!
The busy couple has postponed plans for a honeymoon due to their careers and might even put it off until next year. Tindall has confirmed he intends to play rugby for England just a week after the couple get married, meaning he has to be back in training two days after the ceremony. Zara, meanwhile, will compete at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, the same weekend.