How England rugby ace Mike Tindall became the royal family's cheeky chappy

18 mins read


Mike Tindall is reportedly set to join I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here this year – and as a beloved member of the Royal Family, viewers will undoubtedly be wondering what, if any, secrets he will reveal about The Firm.

But a source told The Sun: ‘He is sure to be discreet, but his sheer presence means this series will be an absolute must-watch… It’s a massive coup. Mike has had a box seat for some of the most important moments in royal history for generations.’

The former England Rugby star, 43, is husband to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara, 41, with the couple, who wed in 2011, sharing three children together, Mia, eight, Lena, four, and Lucas, one.

He’s previously been dubbed the Royal Family’s ‘secret weapon’ and the ‘cool, fun uncle’ after impressing fans during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, where he dutifully accompanied his wife to several events over the four-day weekend.

The father-of-three entertained an unruly Prince Louis, four, during the Platinum Pageant in June, and appeared in typically jovial spirits throughout the celebrations, where he was on hand to help out with all the royal children.

Mike, his wife, their children and Princess Anne are often spotted out and about enjoying family days out together whenever keen equestrian Zara is performing in a horse show. 

The former rugby ace and Zara, who were first introduced at the 2003 World Cup, enjoy a ‘normal’ life – at least within royal circles – and live with their daughters and son in relative privacy.

However, they still reap the benefits of lucrative contacts that they may have secured, at least in part, thanks to their positions within the royal family

The Tindalls, who live at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, Princess Anne’s royal estate, also dedicate a significant amount of time to charitable causes and have phonebooks dotted with celebrity names. 

Mike Tindall (pictured with wife Zara at the late Queen's funeral) is reportedly set to join I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here this year

Mike Tindall (pictured with wife Zara at the late Queen’s funeral) is reportedly set to join I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here this year

LOVED BY THE ROYAL FAMILY 

Zara, Mike and Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 after leaving the The Patron's Lunch celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday

Zara, Mike and Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 after leaving the The Patron’s Lunch celebrations for The Queen’s 90th birthday

Mike and Zara joke with Prince William and Kate during Royal Ascot on 18 June 2019

Mike and Zara joke with Prince William and Kate during Royal Ascot on 18 June 2019

During the Platinum Pageant in June, Mike sat behind four-year-old Prince Louis in the Royal Box and entertained the boy with funny faces to keep him amused

During the Platinum Pageant in June, Mike sat behind four-year-old Prince Louis in the Royal Box and entertained the boy with funny faces to keep him amused

While Mike and Zara have no official duties, they are regulars at royal family events, such as church services and important milestones like the Jubilee.

Supportive husband Mike, who has often praised the late Queen, was also in attendance at Her late Majesty’s funeral in September. 

Mike is thought to be a much loved addition to the royal family, with the rugby ace always enthusiastically greeting the members of Zara’s family when at events together.

The bond between cousins, such as the Tindalls, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, is particularly close for members of the Royal Family, who might struggle to let outsiders into their inner circle.

Such is the closeness between the cousins that they are all part of a WhatsApp group where they exchange messages on upcoming events and family news.

‘Me, my brother and then a few of Zara’s side like her brother Pete [Phillips] and the cousins are on WhatsApp groups,’ Mike once revealed. ‘I wouldn’t say we’re cutting edge, but it’s just easier for some reason on WhatsApp.’

He added on a separate occasion: ‘It’s just what you do to try and set up get-togethers and we are going to something that is the same.

‘If you are going to go, [we discuss things like] “Are you going to take the kids?” Quite a lot of people have family WhatsApp groups.’

Mike enjoys a particularly close friendship with Prince William, 40. The pair are often snapped sharing a joke at royal events – and can’t resist a hug when they see each other in public.

William and Mike have been photographed looking pally at several public engagements, with the ex-England rugby player going along to support the royal at polo matches in the past. 

A ‘NORMAL’ FAMILY LIFE

Mike Tindall with his daughters Mia and Lena at the Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials in Norfolk in April 2022

Mike Tindall with his daughters Mia and Lena at the Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials in Norfolk in April 2022

No royal titles: Zara and Mike raise daughters Mia (left), Lena (in pram), and son Luca largely out of the spotlight. Pictured, in 2018

No royal titles: Zara and Mike raise daughters Mia (left), Lena (in pram), and son Luca largely out of the spotlight. Pictured, in 2018

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips emerging from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding on 30 July 2011

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips emerging from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding on 30 July 2011

Rubbing shoulders with A-list pals 

Zara and Mike rung in 2020 with celebrity friends including actress Rebel Wilson and polo player Nacho Figueras. 

Their low-key royal role allows them the freedom to hobnob with famous friends in a way other members of the family cannot. 

Celebrity parties: Zara and Mike rung in 2020 with friends including actress Rebel Wilson and polo player Nacho Figueras

Celebrity parties: Zara and Mike rung in 2020 with friends including actress Rebel Wilson and polo player Nacho Figueras

Zara has often spoken of how grateful she is to her mother Princess Anne and her father Captain Mark Phillips, for choosing not to give her or brother Peter royal titles – and the expectation, responsibility and scrutiny they bring. 

‘I’m very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title we grew up with and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do,’ she has said previously. ‘We were able to be more adventurous than say, [Prince] William.’

The Tindalls live on the grounds of Anne’s Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire. 

Mia, Lena and Luca are kept largely out of the spotlight – save a few scene-stealing appearances at family weddings, royal events and equestrian competitions – which affords them a more ‘normal’ childhood than that of other royals.

And just like any normal household, Mike has previously opened up about the difficulties of family life, saying it isn’t ‘all roses and rainbows’ and that having children ‘is a massive shock’.

He appeared on Loose Women in November 2021 to talk about men’s mental health in a one-off special.

Hosted by Vernon Kay, the programme was re-branded as Loose Men to mark International Men’s Day.

Opening up on the show, Mike said: ‘A marriage or a long-term relationship, it can’t all be roses and rainbows.

‘You know when you have children, that is a massive shock, change to your system, that you’ve never experienced.

‘So there is going to be those rocky roads, like if you lose your job, you know there are things that are thrown at you that have to test both of you, and it will test that relationship.’  

CAREERS OUTSIDE THE ROYAL FAMILY

Mike, along with hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne, runs the weekly podcast The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, which has enjoyed great success, including a tour this year

Mike, along with hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne, runs the weekly podcast The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, which has enjoyed great success, including a tour this year 

Mike speaking at a gala dinner in 2018. In 2021, it was revealed that Tindall's company had been claiming furlough money

Mike speaking at a gala dinner in 2018. In 2021, it was revealed that Tindall’s company had been claiming furlough money

Making money! It emerged in 2019 that Zara was paid £100,000 a year for a non-executive directorship at the Global Group of companies, owned by tycoon Dr Johnny Hon, pictured

Making money! It emerged in 2019 that Zara was paid £100,000 a year for a non-executive directorship at the Global Group of companies, owned by tycoon Dr Johnny Hon, pictured

Poster girl: Zara Tindall was unveiled as an ambassador for iCandy prams' £1,500'all-terrain' buggy in 2018. It is one of a number of brand deals she has had over the years

Poster girl: Zara Tindall was unveiled as an ambassador for iCandy prams’ £1,500 ‘all-terrain’ buggy in 2018. It is one of a number of brand deals she has had over the years

Full speed ahead: Zara Phillips during the world premiere of the all-new Land Rover Discovery in Birmingham in 2016. Her partnership with the brand was rumoured to be worth up to £200K a year

Full speed ahead: Zara Phillips during the world premiere of the all-new Land Rover Discovery in Birmingham in 2016. Her partnership with the brand was rumoured to be worth up to £200K a year

Mike, along with hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne, runs the weekly podcast The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, which has enjoyed great success, including a tour this year.

A real king of the jungle! Mike Tindall ‘signs up for this year’s I’m A Celebrity’

Mike Tindall has reportedly signed up to join this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

The 43-year-old will join next month’s cast in the Australian jungle, according to The Sun.

Former England Rugby player Mike will allegedly be the first royal on prime time reality TV, and is said to be joining the likes of Boy George, comic Seann Walsh and DJ Chris Moyles to compete for the Jungle crown.

The details around the father-of-three’s deal ‘remain a closely-guarded secret’, however, a source told the publication: ‘It’s a massive coup. Mike has had a box seat for some of the most important moments in royal history for generations.

‘He is sure to be discreet, but his sheer presence means this series will be an absolute must-watch. It’s a massive coup. Mike has had a box seat for some of the most important moments in royal history for generations.’

However, Mike’s alleged appearance on I’m A Celeb won’t be his first feature on a reality TV programme; in 2015, the former rugby player appeared on Channel 4 winter sports show The Jump.

An I’m A Celeb spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Any names suggested for I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! are just speculation. We’ll officially announce our line up for the new series nearer its transmission.’

However, in 2021, it was revealed that Tindall’s company had been claiming furlough money despite him being married to a member of the Royal Family with a huge personal wealth.

The former England rugby star has a firm to manage his speaking engagements, which dried up during the pandemic. 

The company, Kimble Trading Ltd, has confirmed it claimed government aid. Accounts indicate it has only one member of staff.

Accounts for the year ending March 31 2020, which were filed in December, said that since the balance sheet date the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions imposed led to a number of events in 2020 being cancelled.

According to The Sun, accounts said: ‘The outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions imposed have led to a number of events in 2020 being cancelled.

‘The company has taken advantage of all available government aid in order to support the business and its employees through the crisis.’

It also appeared on a government list of companies which had made use of the government grants. 

Conservative MP Nigel Mills said about the Royal’s company: ‘It’s a bit rich for Mike Tindall to be taking money from the public purse.’ There is no suggestion of any illegality taking place. 

Furlough granted 80 per cent of employees’ normal wages up to £2,500 per month.  Tindall’s representative said he did not receive the furlough payment. 

Meanwhile, it emerged in 2019 that Zara was paid £100,000 a year for a non-executive directorship at the Global Group of companies, owned by tycoon Dr Johnny Hon.

Appointed to advise on horse racing for a sports investment arm, she was contractually required to attend just two board meetings by telephone a year and four company functions.

In September 2018 it was estimated that the royal had brand partnerships and ambassadorships worth a combined £1.1million a year – with Rolex, Land Rover and Musto among the big names who have had her on the payroll. 

CHARITY PATRONAGES

Showing their support: Zara and Mike Tindall are also active in supporting worthwhile causes close to their hearts. Pictured, at a ball supporting Cancer Research UK and The Marie Keating Foundation in December 2019

Showing their support: Zara and Mike Tindall are also active in supporting worthwhile causes close to their hearts. Pictured, at a ball supporting Cancer Research UK and The Marie Keating Foundation in December 2019

In 2021, Mike (pictured) took part in his first'official royal engagement' when speaking about the devastating effect Parkinson's disease has had on his father and the isolation his parents have faced during the pandemic

In 2021, Mike (pictured) took part in his first ‘official royal engagement’ when speaking about the devastating effect Parkinson’s disease has had on his father and the isolation his parents have faced during the pandemic 

Zara and Mike are also active in supporting worthwhile causes close to their hearts.

And in 2021, Mike took part in his first ‘official royal engagement’ when speaking about the devastating effect Parkinson’s disease has had on his father and the isolation his parents have faced during the pandemic.

He paid tribute to his mother Linda, who is the primary carer for his father Philip, as ‘a very stoic, northern lady, who refuses to give her man up’, but said he is trying to convince her to accept offers of support.

The former England rugby player joined forces with the Duchess of Gloucester for a video conversation to mark World Parkinson’s Day.

Tindall told the duchess that his parents were both on the vulnerable list and had not left their home for a year.

He added: ‘What they’ve really missed out of this year is… my mum’s missed companionship, really – being able to go and see someone else, because she doesn’t feel now that she’s comfortable leaving my dad alone.’

Tindall is patron of Cure Parkinson’s, while Birgitte is patron of Parkinson’s UK.

He said his 75-year-old father, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, has had a ‘tough five years’, but that the worsening of his condition stretches back 10 years to 2011 – the year Tindall married Zara.

‘I would say he’s had a really sort of tough five years, maybe even longer actually,’ he said.

‘It’s our 10-year wedding anniversary and it was that year that … through his Parkinson’s, his spine in his back is obviously curved, and then it caused problems with his discs and then he had to have a wheelchair at the wedding. He could walk some bits of it.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog