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Why Zara and Mike Tindall had their royal wedding in Scotland

Mike and Zara Tindall tied the knot in July 2011

tindalls wedding
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Mike and Zara Tindall will celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary this July, and the couple opted for an unusual venue for their nuptials.

The equestrian and the rugby star tied the knot in a private ceremony at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh on 30 July 2011, as seen in the video below – just three months after Prince William and Kate Middleton's Westminster Abbey wedding.

WATCH: Mike and Zara Tindall share first kiss after royal wedding

Most royal weddings in recent years have taken place in London or in Windsor, so why did Mike and Zara decide to marry in Scotland?

The couple's low-key ceremony was not televised with the modest Canongate Kirk church affording them more privacy than that of a service at Westminster Abbey or St George's Chapel.

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Mike and Zara Tindalls 2011 wedding © Photo: Getty Images

Mike and Zara on their wedding day in 2011

Reports at the time suggest that the venue was chosen because of the bride's links to Scotland, with Zara having attended Gordonstoun School in Moray.

Zara's grandmother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, also used to attend services in the church on some of her frequent visits to Edinburgh.

The Tindalls aren't the only couple to have married in Scotland – Zara's mother, Princess Anne, wed her second husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, at Crathie Kirk in Aberdeenshire in December 1992.

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Canongate Kirk© Photo: Getty Images

The Tindalls' wedding venue - Canongate Kirk

Around 30 guests attended the couple's private marriage service. Unlike the Church of England at the time, the Church of Scotland considered marriage to be an ordinance of religion rather than a sacrament and permitted the remarriage of divorced persons under certain circumstances.

Anne was previously married to Captain Mark Phillips, whom she shares two children with – Zara and her older brother, Peter Phillips.

Since their wedding in 2011, Mike and Zara have become parents to Mia, nine, Lena, four, and one-year-old Lucas.

Mike, 44, chatted exclusively with HELLO! at Legends of Rugby Awards at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane this week, and revealed how his children are following in his and their mother's sporty footsteps.

He said: "Both Mia and Lena go to Minchinhampton rugby club on a Sunday and they are only nine and four so we've got to give them a bit of time before the pressure comes on but they love all sports and they play rugby as well."

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