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Zara Tindall, neé Phillips - Biography

Zara shares three children with her husband Mike Tindall

Zara Tindall at Cheltenham Festival
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Who is Zara Tindall?

Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips was born on May 15, 1981, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. The second child of the Princess Royal, she got her unusual first name from her uncle, King Charles. 

"The baby made a rather sudden and positive arrival," recalled Princess Anne, "and my brother thought Zara (a Greek name meaning 'bright as the dawn') was an appropriate name."

What did Zara study? 

Princess Anne was adamant her two children remain without a title, believing life would be hard enough for grandchildren of a monarch. Like her uncles and maternal grandfather, Zara was educated at the challenging Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun. She began her studies alongside her brother at the local primary school, and was sent to boarding school in Dorset when she was eight years old, because her mother wanted her to mix with children from ordinary local families.

After sitting her A Levels, Zara decided to take a year out, spending three months of it in Australia and New Zealand. Suddenly the press picked up on the photogenic blonde out bungee-jumping and enjoying Sydney nightlife. From there she enrolled at Exeter University in south-west England, and went on to qualify as a physiotherapist.

When did she meet her husband Mike Tindall? 

The young royal has long abandoned her "royal rebel" tag, which she was given during the days of her tempestuous, tabloid-friendly relationship with jockey Richard Johnson. After the pair split, she embarked on a stable relationship with rugby player Mike Tindall, who she met in in Sydney just after England beat Australia in the rugby World Cup in November 2003 and was credited for encouraging Zara to start taking her sporting talent seriously.

 The loved-up pair moved in together, setting up home in a cottage on her mother's Gatcombe estate. Six years later, just before Christmas 2010, Buckingham Palace announced their engagement. 

When did Zara Tindall get married? 

Mike and Zara wed the following year on 30 July at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

The bride wore a Stewart Parvin dress and the Meander tiara, which belonged to her great-grandmother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark. The couple's first child, Mia Grace Tindall, was born on 17 January 2014. 

Her equestrian career

In June 2003 Zara secured a sponsorship deal with Cantor Index - the first royal to accept a commercial deal - which helped her Three Day Eventing career to flourish. In 2005, at Blenheim Palace, she emulated her mother by winning the individual European Eventing Championship title and went on to become World Eventing Champion in 2006.

Zara's equestrian accolades were accompanied by a tide of public support, with the gifted young rider being named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December 2006 and winning an MBE for services to equestrianism in 2007. 

She was selected to represent Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was withdrawn from the team after her mount Toytown sustained an injury during training. Four years later the sporty royal finally achieved her Olympic dream, winning a silver medal in the London 2012 Games as part of the Great Britain Eventing Team. 

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