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Mike Tindall reveals how royals welcomed him into family before wedding to Zara

The retired rugby star married the Queen's granddaughter in 2011

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Mike Tindall has praised the royal family for being so "lovely" and welcoming. The retired rugby star, who married the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips in 2011, has opened up about the night before his wedding, and how the royals put his family at ease. Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mike said: "We had a drinks event the night before and they are professional meeters and greeters, and I remember my family were in a corner and a little bit out of their comfort zone because it's not where they are used to being."

The doting dad, who is expecting his second child with Zara this summer, added: "But the best thing about the Royal Family is that they are so lovely and they'll spot the people who are looking a little bit nervous and go straight over and take away all of that tension straight out of the room, and that's what they are amazing at. Then suddenly you're in the family and they welcome you with welcome arms."

Mike and Zara married in 2011

Mike was speaking the day before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot at St George's Chapel in Windsor. Meghan's mum Doria Ragland, who arrived in the UK on Wednesday, is set to the meet the Queen ahead of the wedding. The LA-based social worker has already been introduced to her future in-laws, Prince Charles and Camilla. The group had tea at the royals' home in London, Clarence House, with Harry and Meghan. Doria has also met Prince William and Kate and their children.

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Meghan's father Thomas Markle, who lives a quiet life of retirement in Mexico, is too ill to attend the nuptials on Saturday. Thomas was due to fly to the UK this week to meet the royal family and rehearse walking his daughter down the aisle. However, due to his poor health and heart problems, Thomas, 73, has had to remain in hospital.

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On Friday, Kensington Palace announced that Prince Charles would walk Meghan down the aisle. It's understood that the bride will walk the first part of the aisle with her six bridesmaids, four pageboys and the Dean of Windsor, as was always planned, and then Charles will meet her at the start of the Quire in the chapel.

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