Meet "Magic Mike," a Down-to-Earth Royal Family Member Everyone Loves
Even Queen Elizabeth expressed her fondness for Mike Tindall.
Public opinion about members of the British Royal Family tends to wax and wane—with none enjoying the widespread adoration of the late Queen Elizabeth—but there is one royal whose popularity is booming. His name is Mike Tindall, and he is the husband of Princess Anne's daughter (and Elizabeth's granddaughter), Zara. The former rugby player is now a contestant on the UK adventure reality series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, where his down-to-earth nature has brought the royal family "some of its best PR in months," the Telegraph reported this week.
As it turns out, Tindall has been one of the most well-liked members of the royal family. Even Queen Elizabeth expressed her fondness for him. Read on to find out why— and to explore the secrets of the Royal Family, don't miss these Biggest Royal Romance Scandals of All Time.
Queen Elizabeth liked Tindall because he "brought a lightness to proceedings," the Telegraph reports. One example: During the Royal Ascot in 2019, Tindall removed his top hat to reveal a smaller top hat inside. This move "had the late monarch in stitches on the parade ring." Tindall has proved to be a likewise amusing figure on I'm a Celebrity, praised for his relatable nature and sense of humor.
He described his first lunch date with the Queen's granddaughter as "quite a boozy one … Then we figured out that we both quite like getting smashed. It was a good start." Tindall also confessed that he once "slut-dropped" in front of his mother-in-law in a pair of "nibble my nuts" boxer shorts.
Shortly after Tindall had begun dating Zara, Prince William arrived at Tindall's 27th birthday party, where Tindall greeted him by saying, "How's it going, baldy?" William replied, "What's it to you, fatty?" and both laughed. "The thing about Mike is that he is a thoroughly decent person and extremely kind. Everyone knows there isn't a bad bone in his body, so he can get away with that kind of banter," a partygoer told the Telegraph.
"The Royal family love him because he has never been anything other than his down-to-earth self around them. He's a straightforward Yorkshireman who makes everyone laugh. The Princess Royal [Princess Anne, his mother-in-law] adores him."
Born in 1978, Tindall made 75 appearances for England's rugby team. He played outside center on the victorious 2003 World Cup team. But he was relatively obscure until began dating the Queen's granddaughter, an Olympic equestrian. Mike and Zara married in 2011, and they have three children, Mia, eight, Lena, four, and one-year-old Lucas.
Tindall has also had his share of public embarrassment: The self-described binge drinker was arrested for drunk driving in 2008, the day after attending the Cheltenham horse races. The court was told that on the evening before his arrest, Mike had drunk three beers followed by seven glasses of champagne, then another beer and a vodka and Red Bull, the Telegraph reported.
He was arrested the next morning and ultimately banned from driving for three years. "Everybody must be very careful to ensure that they leave a very substantial gap between any drinking of alcohol and any later driving," he said in a statement. "I feel strongly that people need to be educated about this as I have been."
The British public might also look kindly on the Tindalls because they're not funded by taxpayers. Princess Anne declined royal titles for her children, so Zara has always had to be self-sufficient. She financed her equestrianism through sponsorship deals.
And Mike Tindall's appearance on I'm a Celebrity is widely assumed to be a way to generate income for his family. He had previously been approached to be on the British version of Dancing With the Stars, but they couldn't afford his fee, the Telegraph reports.