Princess Anne loves son-in-law Mike Tindall because he is 'cheeky' and 'owns who he is'

“He doesn’t try to change who he is around Anne or anyone”

Princess Anne and Mike Tindall
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

A former royal butler has broken down the relationship between Princess Anne and Mike Tindall, saying that the Princess Royal gets along with her son-in-law well because 'he doesn't try to change who he is.'

Mike Tindall may be a member of the royal family, but he's a far cry from the protocol-driven and formal personality of King Charles III. That's what draws so many royal fans to him and, according to one former royal butler, that's what his mother-in-law Princess Anne likes about him too. 

Speaking on behalf of Spin Genie, former butler Grant Harrold, who worked for King Charles III for seven years when he was still the Prince of Wales, has opened up about his view on Princess Anne's relationship with her son-in-law Mike Tindall.

While one of Mike's relatives was 'dead against' his marriage to Zara out of fear he wouldn't be brought into the fold, Harrold shares that they had no reason to worry as the Princess Royal enjoys how Mike Tindall ‘owns’ his cheekiness and ‘doesn’t try to change who he is’ around her or anyone, no matter their royal rank.

He also added that this trait is a prized one in the Royal family as they like people to be themselves. As he said in his own words, "If you’re naughty, be naughty. If you’re funny, be funny. You’ve got to own what you are, and Mike does that."

Mike Tindall was always going to fit in with his future mother-in-law, according to the royal butler

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harrold said, “When Mike was in the jungle, he said how terrified he was when he met Anne for the first time. Mike has quite a cheeky personality, and Anne likes that a lot. One thing I noticed about the Royal family is that they like people to be themselves. He doesn’t try to change who is around Anne or anyone. 

"Anne also loves the rugby world too, she’s very much involved in Scottish rugby. I don’t think there is anything Mike can do that would shock her. From what we can tell, Mike and Anne get on really well. And obviously, Mike and Zara are made for each other. They’re a very close couple and they adore each other.”

A testament to the fact that Mike could do very little to shock his mother-in-law, during Mike's stint in the I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! jungle, the royal recalled a time when he massively embarrassed himself in front of Anne, only to be met with one of her wittiest remarks. 

The story begins at Zara's 30th birthday party which the family celebrated by throwing a 70s-themed disco. To get into the mood, Mike opted to wear some tight flared trousers for the occasion - but this was a mistake. 

Princess Anne and Mike Tindall

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

The rugby player admitted that the flared trousers were a tad tight as 'nothing ever fits a rugby player's bum and legs,' but this did not stop him from pulling out his favourite dance move. As he revealed on the show, "The old slut drop gets me every time!"

Unfortunately, this time, the slut drop got the better of him and his trousers ripped during the move right in front of mother-in-law, Princess Anne.

The story still gets worse as Mike recalled, "It happened to be that my boxers that I had on at that time said 'Nibble my nuts'." Oh no!

But, Princess Anne was unfazed and simply quipped back, "I'd rather not".

The hilarious and fast response is likely one of the reasons Mike has previously called Anne 'a legend.' Speaking to The Express previously, he said, "Zara's mum is a legend and her father is lovely too. My mates in Wakefield are forever asking how I fit in among the Royal Family but they are really down to earth."

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.