Mike Tindall: When did he meet Zara and what does he do for a living? All you need to know as he becomes the first royal to join I’m A Celebrity

Mike Tindall is part of the I'm A Celebrity 2022 line-up and there'll likely be plenty of fans intrigued to know more about this royal...

Mike Tindall smiles during a Rugby for Heroes 10th anniversary dinner
(Image credit: Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Mike Tindall has been confirmed as part of the I’m A Celebrity 2022 line-up making him the first royal to take part in the show, but there are many things that fans might not know about him.

Whilst he isn’t a senior working royal like the King and Queen Consort and Prince and Princess of Wales, Mike Tindall has regularly been spotted attending prominent events over the years, ranging from Royal Ascot to the Trooping the Color with the royals. Now weeks after he became the Royal Family member tipped for I’m A Celebrity 2022, he’s landed in Australia ready to throw himself into the survival series. Mike Tindall has admitted he might “regret” the decision as he expressed excitement about how it could also be “good fun”. 

And as he puts his skills to the test some viewers might be left with more than a few questions about the star’s professional and personal life. Here we reveal who Mike Tindall is married to, how many kids they have and what he does for a living…

Mike Tindall, Former Rugby Union Player looks on prior to the Allianz Premier 15s Final match

(Image credit: Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Who is Mike Tindall married to?

Mike Tindall is married to Zara Tindall (née Phillips), who is the daughter of Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips, the niece of King Charles and the granddaughter of the late Queen Elizabeth. The couple are said to have met during the Rugby World Cup back in 2003 - the same one that England won. They were reportedly introduced by none other than Zara’s cousin Prince Harry and their relationship went from strength to strength from there. 

Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, waches the show with her boyfriend, Mike Tindall

(Image credit: Photo by Carl De Souza/Getty Images)

As was required until the Royal Marriages Act 1772 (which was later repealed), the Queen had to give her consent to the marriage of her granddaughter. She did this in May 2011 to the Privy Council after Mike popped the question to Zara in December 2010. 

Mike and Zara married in a stunning ceremony held in Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh on July 30 2011, just three months after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Her dress was designed by Stewart Parvin and Zara was also loaned a beautiful diamond tiara, the Princess Andrew Meander Bandeau, which belonged to Princess Anne, having been passed down to her from the Queen who in turn reportedly received it from Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice. 

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall after their wedding at Canongate Kirk

(Image credit: Mike Marsland via Getty )

As is only to be expected for a royal wedding, both the immediate and the extended Royal Family members were in attendance to help Mike and Zara celebrate their big day. The wedding reception was held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the monarch’s official residence in Scotland. 

Eleven years later and Mike and Zara Tindall remain as much in love as ever and as the rugby star prepares to take on the I’m A Celebrity challenges, he remarked upon how much he’ll miss her. 

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall attend their wedding at Canongate Kirk

(Image credit: Photo by Danny Martindale/FilmMagic via Getty)

"It’s probably one of the longest times we’ve been away completely with no communication. When you go away you still have communication, so that’s obviously going to be the hardest bit,” he told The Sun (opens in new tab)

He also remarked upon how "Australia is a special place” for him as that’s where he met Zara all those years before. 

How many children do Mike and Zara Tindall have? 

Mike and Zara Tindall have three children together - two daughters, Mia (8) and Lena (4) and a son Lucas (1). Mia was the fourth of the late Queen’s great-grandchildren to be born and she was welcomed into the world at Gloucester Royal Hospital near the Tindalls’ home, Gatcombe Park, where Princess Anne also lives. 

Mia Tindall with Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall attend a memorial service

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

She took on a very important role in the Queen’s 90th birthday photos. Then just two years old, Mia can be seen beaming as she held the Queen’s handbag alongside her great-grandmother, cousins Savannah and Isla Phillips and Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The two youngest of the Queen’s grandchildren, James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor also appeared in the photo. More recently Mia attended a Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip and the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth. 

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Lena Tindall, Prince George of Cambridge, Zara Tindall and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Platinum Pageant

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Her younger sister Lena is four years younger and was born at the Stroud Maternity Hospital and given the middle name Elizabeth, perhaps in a sweet tribute to the Queen. Lena joined her family earlier this year as they enjoyed part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

Zara Tindall and son Lucas Tindall

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Their brother Lucas Philip Tindall was born in 2021 and was named in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh, who sadly passed away a month later. Zara and Mike welcomed their only son at their Gatcombe Park home and Mike Tindall revealed his wife gave birth to Lucas in the bathroom. He was christened in a joint ceremony with Princess Eugenie’s son August Brooksbank at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in November 2021.

What does Mike Tindall do for a living? 

Mike Tindall’s best-known profession is his former career as a professional rugby player having started his career with Bath in 1997. He spent eight seasons there before moving to Gloucester where he remained for almost a decade and became a player-coach after the arrival of Nigel Davies as Director of Rugby in 2012. Mike played in the position of ‘outside center’ and was part of the England Rugby squad who won the 2003 World Cup in Australia. 

Mike Tindall of Gloucester is tackled during the Aviva Premiership match

(Image credit: Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Since he retired from playing rugby, Mike has reportedly taken on several brand ambassadorships and has continued to show his support for sport. 

He also supports various charities and since being introduced to the work of international non-profit organization Right to Play in 2015, he became their Athlete Ambassador. The charity aims to empower vulnerable children to help overcome the effects of poverty, war and disease through play. 

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In the summer of 2020 Mike Tindall also launched his weekly podcast with James Haskell and Alex Payne - The Good, The Bad & The Rugby. They feature stars across the rugby world, as well as guests known from the realms of sport more generally and pop culture.

He's also appeared in several high profile TV shows including Bear Grylls: Mission Survive and The Jump.

When did Mike Tindall retire from rugby? 

After many years of success, Mike Tindall announced his retirement from playing rugby in 2014, making him the last of the Rugby World Cup winning squad he was part of to do so. At the time he was 35 years old and took to Twitter to share the news with fans. 

“After 17 years it’s time to retire from rugby, I have been lucky to play with/against some great players, two great clubs and had some amazing times. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through my career!” he wrote.

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As per The Guardian (opens in new tab), Mike also expressed his belief to Gloucester Citizen that he could’ve played for two more years but that playing for his specific club was so “special” to him. 

“I could play two more years if I really wanted to but club rugby is a very special thing for me, it’s what I love about the game. I had to ask myself if I wanted to go and play somewhere else. Can you get emotionally attached to another club? Because that is the pull of club rugby for me. I don’t think you can. I always say ‘never say never’ but I wouldn’t have thought I will be back. You have to face the big bad world sometime and now is the right time to do that,” the rugby star declared. 

Mike Tindall of England chips the ball ahead

(Image credit: Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins)

What did Mike Tindall get his MBE for? 

Perhaps unsurprisingly given his illustrious career on the rugby pitch, Mike Tindall received his MBE for his contribution to the sport of rugby. The star was awarded this huge honor in 2007 and this was one of the medals he wore when he attended Queen Elizabeth’s State Funeral service in September 2022.  

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.