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Mike Tindall reveals the one word he said to Zara Phillips when they first met

The former rugby player and Princess Anne's daughter married in 2011

Zara Tindall walking with Mike Tindall
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Mike Tindall and wife Zara might have a fairytale romance, however, it appears that it didn't start this way with Mike admitting he barely talked to his future wife the first time they crossed paths.

Mike and Zara first met in a Sydney bar during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, with Zara's cousin, Prince Harry, introducing the pair. But reflecting on their first meeting when speaking with Manish Bhasin for The Gambling Zone, Mike admitted that his emotions from being dropped from the squad clouded the day for him.

"When we met, I basically only said hello," Mike admitted. "I didn't really even talk to her because I was, as I said, I was still quite down."

During his time in the I'm a Celebrity jungle, Mike opened up about dating Zara, revealing that the pair were friends before they started seeing each other. "We were friends first and then William and Harry were massive England fans at the time, so we’d met them numerous times," he told fellow campmate Owen Warner. "Met more of the family than you'd normally have met of the woman you start dating."

Mike Tindall with his three medals at the Platinum Jubilee in 2022© Getty
Mike didn't speak to Zara much during their first meeting

The father-of-three also revealed what happened on the couple's first date, sharing: "First actual date, just went out for lunch locally. And ended up being quite a boozy one. Then we figured out that we both quite like getting smashed. It was a good start."

Zara took their relationship to the next level when she invited Mike to join her at the North Cotswold Ball. By 2004, the besotted couple became "official" and Mike was often spotted appearing at public events with the royal.

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall after their wedding at Canongate Kirk on July 30, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland.© Mike Marsland
The lovebirds eventually hit it off

Mike proposed to Princess Anne's daughter in December 2010 after five years of dating. Speaking to HELLO! in 2009, the rugby player teased: "I don't think it is about whether we will get married but when."

"I was upstairs, plucking up the nerve to do it, while Zara was downstairs watching television," he told The Daily Mail when remembering the special moment. "It was all about shock value—I wanted to catch her when it was quiet, and she wasn't expecting anything."

Mike and Zara Tindall smiling at Cheltenham Festival© Getty
The couple are still going strong

The couple were at home, when he walked in and got down on one knee with a ring and popped the question. Her reaction? "She started laughing", Mike revealed. "She was in complete shock. Then, when she stopped laughing, she said yes. That was a relief."

The couple tied the knot at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh in July 2011, and the ceremony was attended by senior members of the royal family including the late Queen and the late Prince Philip, Prince William and Prince Harry.

STROUD, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall with their daughters Mia Tindall and Lena Tindall (in her pram) attend day 3 of the Whatley Manor Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park on September 9, 2018 in Stroud, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)© Max Mumby/Indigo
The couple now share three children

Zara and Mike went on to hold their wedding reception at the Queen's official Scottish residence, Holyrood Palace, where her mother would stay while she was at Gordonstoun.

PHOTOS: Mike Tindall's sporty daughter Lena, 5, takes after him during 5k charity run

RELATED: Meet Zara and Mike Tindall’s three adorable children: Mia, Lena and Lucas

The couple have gone on to welcome three children, Mia, ten, Lena, five, and Lucas, two.

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