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Rebellious Zara Tindall's tongue piercing got the best reaction from Princess Anne

The Princess Royal's daughter was also believed to have a belly button piercing


Zara Tindall wears a cream hat at Royal Ascot
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
October 1, 2023
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The royal family switching up their hair colour, experimenting with style and even getting tattoos is nothing new, but no body modification was as rebellious as Zara Tindall's tongue piercing. 

The Princess Royal's daughter was just 17 when she decided to debut a metallic tongue stud to her royal family at King Charles' 50th birthday party back in 1998. Looking back on the bold beauty trend, Zara laughed off her teenage years as being a "royal rebel" in an unearthed interview with Tatler from 2011. 

Zara (née Phillips rocked the glitzy accessory during her teenage years)© Shutterstock
Zara (née Phillips rocked the glitzy accessory during her teenage years)

The Olympic equestrian was first photographed with the striking piercing at the Doubleprint British Horse Trials Championships. Laughing and exposing the glistening metal barbell, Zara also rocked a platinum blonde bob in the latter of her teen years.

Zara Tindall's very unroyal tongue piercing © Shutterstock
Zara Tindall's very unroyal tongue piercing

 "At least I didn't have it coming out of my nose, or anything," she said to Tatler, adding that these days she's more likely to be found at home with her children and cooking spaghetti bolognese for her husband, Mike Tindall

It is believed that Zara obtained the piercing at a tattoo parlour close to the Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, where she was a boarding school student. 

Despite her "rebellious" new look making headlines back in the nineties, Zara appeared to remove the silver barbell in her tongue rather quickly, having been photographed just one year later in 1999 with the stud removed. 

The royal went incognito in sunnies and a raincoat
The royal was just 17 when she got the daring tongue accessory

Princess Anne, was reportedly unfazed by her daughter's shocking new look, and simply asked if she was able to speak properly with the invasive accessory.

Former royal butler Grant Harrold, who worked in the royal households in the 1990s recalled the moment he saw Zara's new tongue piercing. 

Speaking on behalf of Spin Genie, Grant told The Express: "She was the very first royal I met. In Scotland I was working and it was the weekend. It was all in the press that she had her tongue pierced and it was so exciting because when she was speaking to us, I suddenly saw the tongue piercing and I was like ‘Oh, I’ve seen it’.

zara tindall n a sixties-style dress for the occasion© PA Images
The royal dazzled in a sixties-style dress back in the 2000s

Grant added: "She’s down to earth, she’s fun, she’s naughty. The deal that was done back in the day was Anne didn’t want her children to have titles so they could have normal lives and do normal things, that’s what she wanted."

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