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Zara Tindall's stunning wedding had heartfelt nods to grandmother Queen Elizabeth – best photos

The royal bride highlighted her close relationship with Her Majesty

Zara Tindall's wedding dress, engagement ring and grandmother Queen Elizabeth
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
Updated: January 25, 2024
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It has been over a decade since Zara Tindall (née Phillips) married her husband Mike Tindall in Scotland, in a wedding reported to cost taxpayers £400k. The Olympic equestrian and the former rugby player tied the knot on 30 July 2011 at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, just three months after Zara's cousin Prince William's royal wedding with Princess Kate.

Princess Anne's daughter clearly had her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II close to her heart when planning her big day as she included several special nods to the monarch, such as her wedding reception and her sentimental bridal outfit. Look back at the best wedding photos of Zara and Mike, who are now proud parents to three children Mia, Lena and Lucas…

WATCH: Zara and Mike's beautiful wedding day
GLOUCESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 21:  Ring detail as Zara Phillips and her fiance Mike Tindall pose at their Gloucestershire home, after they announced their engagement on December 21, 2010 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. The Queen's granddaughter said she was left "shocked" but "very happy" when her long-term boyfriend and England rugby player proposed. (Photo by Tim Ireland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)© WPA Pool

Zara's custom engagement ring

The couple got engaged in 2010 and English rugby player Mike Tindall decided to design his own ring for his royal bride-to-be, rather than choosing a family heirloom. The beautiful piece of jewellery features a single solitaire diamond in the centre, surrounded by pavé diamonds on a split platinum band.

Zara and Mike Tindall leaving their pre-wedding party on the Britannia© Getty

Pre-wedding boat party

Celebrations kicked off on 29 July with British royals gathering for a cocktail party on Royal Yacht Britannia. Choosing a more daring outfit, the bride-to-be rocked a one-shouldered blue mini dress.

Mike Tindall with his groomsmen on his wedding day© Jeff J Mitchell

The groom arrives

Making sure he got to the church on time, Mike Tindall arrived an hour and a quarter early at the wedding venue. Excited about his impending marriage, the rugby star wore a broad smile on his face and looked happy and relaxed as he waved to the crowds, who had gathered in the warm Edinburgh sunshine outside the church.

Zara Tindall waving to crowds on her wedding day

The father-of-the-bride

Zara wed her long-term boyfriend Mike the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Arriving at the church, Zara Philips looked calm and collected as she and her father Captain Mark Philips entered Canongate Kirk. The father-of-the-bride couldn't have looked happier as he walked his only daughter down the aisle to her waiting husband-to-be.

zara tindall mike wedding day

The wedding dress

The bride was a vision in an ivory silk dress fashioned by designer Stewart Parvin, one of her grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s favourite couturiers. Simple yet sculpted, the shape of the graceful gown accentuated her enviable silhouette and gave centre stage to Zara's natural charm. She added Jimmy Choo heels, a silk tulle veil, and a bouquet by Mayfair florist Paul Thomas.

Zara Phillips leaves Canongate Kirk after her wedding to Mike Tindall© Getty

Zara’s heirloom tiara

She added a precious Greek tiara known as Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara that belonged to her mother, Princess Anne. It originated in Greece's royal family, with Prince Philip's mother Alice gifting the tiara to Queen Elizabeth II – and the Queen subsequently passed it on to her daughter, Princess Anne.

The 'something borrowed' piece consists of a brilliant-cut diamond surrounded by a glittering wreath. The honeysuckles are said to symbolise pure happiness, while the laurel wreath design was used as a Greek symbol of triumph – both fitting for Olympic equestrian Zara's big day. Zack Stone from Seven Stone estimated its value is £280,000 ($350,000).

Zara Tindall's chief bridesmaid Dolly Maude

The best man's injury

Zara was accompanied by her maid of honour, horse trainer Dolly Maude, while Mike's best man was Iain Balshaw. The latter was pictured with a black eye and cuts and gashes on his left temple following a moped accident in France the week before the royal wedding. 

The flower girls at Zara Tindall's 2011 wedding© Max Mumby/Indigo

Zara's flower girls

The flower girls were Stephanie Phillips, Miss Phillips's half-sister, the daughter of Captain Mark Phillips and his second wife Sandy Pflueger, Nell Maude, Jaz Jocelyn and Hope Balshaw. All the young girls wore dresses by Sue Palmer, a local dressmaker.

Meanwhile, Dolly's six-year-old son Ted, Miss Phillips' godson, acted as pageboy.  

Prince Harry, Princess Kate and Prince William at the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall© Max Mumby/Indigo

Royal cousins

The royal trio; Prince Harry, Princess Kate and Prince William, were spotted laughing and smiling outside the church before heading inside for the ceremony.

kate middleton zara tindall wedding

Kate's understated outfit

Not wanting to steal the limelight from the bride, Kate wore an understated but beautiful embroidered nude-hued dress coat and matching pumps. It appears to be the same one she wore to Camilla’s daughter Laura Lopes' 2006 wedding. 

Prince William's new wife finished off her look with an asymmetrical wide-brimmed hat with a flower detail.

princess anne zara wedding

The mother-of-the-bride

Princess Anne looked striking in a peach dress designed by the Queen’s favourite couturier Stewart Parvin, which she paired with a cream and pink embroidered jacket and an elaborate lace and flower detail fascinator.

Zara's decision to travel north to Scotland may have been a nod to Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, who got married at Crathie Kirk in Aberdeenshire in December 1992. Anne, who was previously married to Zara's father Captain Mark Phillips, eloped because the Church of Scotland permitted the remarriage of divorced persons, unlike the Church of England.  

King Charles in a grey suit and Camilla in a green coat dress© Jeff J Mitchell

Charles and Camilla

Zara's uncle King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla were also a part of the then-30-year-old's special day. Camilla looked lovely in a very pale green coat dress and floral headpiece.  

Queen Elizabeth II looked pretty in pink at Zara and Mike Tindall's royal wedding© Getty

Queen Elizabeth II arrives

Zara's grandparents Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip looked incredibly proud as they left the church. The Queen looked lovely in a pastel pink ensemble and accessorised with a beautiful diamond lapel brooch.

Princess Beatrice in a blue dress and Princess Eugenie in a brown dress© Martin Fraser

Stylish sisters

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie both hit the right fashion notes with their fun and fashionable outfits at the wedding. Beatrice opted for a blue Angela Kelly ensemble and pair of nude pumps, while her younger sister Eugenie opted for a cream and brown number by the same designer.

mike zara wedding 2011© Photo: Getty Images

The newlyweds

Mike couldn't wipe the smile from his face as he emerged from the church with his new wife.  

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips are pictured in Holyrood Abbey, Palace of Holyroodhouse on their wedding day in 2011© Getty

The wedding reception

The newlyweds were pictured looking loved-up at their wedding reception, which was hosted at the Queen's official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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