At the Manly Wharf Hotel in Sydney in 2003, the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips was having a drink with her cousin Prince Harry when he spotted a friend—English rugby player Mike Tindall. Harry introduced them and, Zara later told 60 Minutes, “It kind of went from there.”
It sure did—the pair have been married for nearly seven years and a now-pregnant Zara, 36, is due to make their daughter, Mia, 4, a big sister. Nicknamed “The Fridge” during his rugby days, Tindall, 39, said in 2005 it was his “pure charm” that won over the Olympic equestrian. As for what attracted him, it wasn’t her royal connections: “I would love her if she worked in Tesco [supermarket].”
Phillips was on a gap year when they met, but back home they started texting and “We became mates, really,” he said. “Eventually it was one of those things where you realise that you’re spending all your time with someone, and it went to the next level.”
On Dec. 21, 2010, she was watching TV at their home in Cheltenham when Tindall, the son of a social worker and retired bank clerk, proposed with a single solitaire diamond set on a pavé band. “I had been thinking about it for ages, waiting to ask, but then my brother got engaged, and so did a certain Duke of Cambridge,” Tindall told the Daily Mail. “I thought I’d better get on with it.”
When Phillips rang Princess Anne, “Her mum said, ‘Is he going to have his nose straightened for the photographs?’” recalled Tindall. (He said it was a waste of time until he’d finished his playing career.)
For more on Zara and Mike's wedding day and family life and the fairytale romances of your favourite royals, pick up a copy of the WHO Collector's Edition of Greatest Royal Love Stories.