'I've always felt part of it' Mike Tindall's close bond with Royal Family laid bare

The former Rugby Union outside centre who won 75 caps for England is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara. They tied the knot in July 2011 with Mr Tindall becoming a key member of the Royal Family.

The father-of-three paid tribute to the Queen for making him feel welcome within the Firm.

Mr Tindall, speaking to The Telegraph, said: “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.”

Mr Tindall met his future bride at the Manly Wharf bar in Sydney, Australia, while watching the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

He had been dropped from the semi-final and had gone out for a beer with two other players who were not picked for the match, Martin Corry and Austin Healey.

The couple got engaged in December 2010 at the townhouse they shared in Cheltenham.

He told the Daily Mail ahead of the big day: “I had been thinking about it for ages, waiting to ask, but then my brother got engaged, and so did a certain Duke of Cambridge.

“I thought I’d better get on with it.”


He is also very close to Prince William. This was captured on camera as recently as May when Mr Tindall and the Duke of Cambridge hugged each other at the Houghton House Horse Trials in Norfolk.

During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, he also made an attempt to keep Prince Louis on his best behaviour, giving him the “I’m watching you” hand gesture.

The Duchess of Cambridge could be seen laughing at the exchange, a photo of which soon went viral.

Asked what he was doing by Alex Payne on his podcast, The Good, The Bad and the Rugby, Mr Tindall said: “I actually can’t remember, I can’t remember what he was doing. He’s such a good character he is, Louis.”

The joker also talked about his recent Instagram fame where a post of hom modelling his wife’s hat during the Jubilee and Royal Ascot helped him amass more than 100,000 new followers.

He quipped in an episode of the podcast: “Maybe I need to take it a step further and do the full dress.”

Mr Tindall, 43, is due to cross the Alps in a 770km bike ride from Lake Geneva to Nice, raising money towards finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

It is a cause which is close to his heart as his father, Phillip Tindall, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003.

Princess Anne’s son-in-law said: “We are trying to find the cure but unfortunately the cure and clinical trials cost money but please give generously and pray for me.”

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