There’s a new Royal Baby born today but this one won’t have a title, just like her Mum, Zara Tindall, nee Phillips. The baby girl will be 16th in line to the Throne, but whatever her parents call her, she will never be Princess. The fourth great-grandchild for the Queen and Prince Philip, this child has a high chance of being sporty; with a Dad who played international rugby and a Mum who is an Olympic equestrian. At lbs 12 ounces, she is already a healthy weight and, in utero, has attended all sorts of fixtures – from polo matches to point-to-points.
Mike Tindall was present at the no-frills birth in Gloucestershire NHS Hospital, where Zara’s sister-in-law, Autumn Phillips, has also given birth twice – to daughters Savannah and Isla. The new father was quick to get onto twitter to express his excitement, “Definitely the best day of my life today, so happy!” He also thanked all the hospital staff and went on to say, “The girls are both doing great!.”
Mike and Zara met in a Sydney bar in 2003 during England’s now legendary World Cup winning rugby tour and were married in Edinburgh in 2011. Their baby, although Royal by family tree, will have a very different life to that of cousin George, born in July 2013. Where journalists were camped around the clock to broadcast the news of the birth of the first in line, this little girl will create a lot less furor. Nor will there be biscuit tins, tea-towels and commemorative items galore to mark her arrival. She is, after all, just little Miss Tindall, born in an ordinary maternity ward to an “ordinary” couple.
Prince George of Cambridge’s appearance was written up on a scroll, and posted with all pomp and circumstance on a golden easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Bells pealed, guns were fired and the world’s media went into overdrive. The low-key and under the radar lifestyle of the Tindalls will attract no such fanfare, and that’s just the way they like it.
Publicity they have attracted has been somewhat unwelcome, with some of Mike Tindall’s post-match antics being cause for embarrassment in the past and they much prefer to stay well out of the limelight, unless it is the sporting eminence kind. Tindall was fined and fired from the England squad after drunken escapades in New Zealand not long after their wedding. An episode of “dwarf-tossing” caused especial consternation at that time as did photos of him canoodling with an ex. The fun-loving couple did not let this faze them. Their laid-back style is carried over from Zara’s own upbringing. She was never an HRH and her father, Captain Mark Phillips, is said to have refused an Earldom.
Zara demonstrated how possible it is to have an extremely active pregnancy by riding and competing right up until her fifth month when it became too uncomfortable. Her social calendar was also pretty packed. She confessed to boredom in the early stages as she is so used to being on the go the whole time, and had taken to baking, saying “I will definitely cook for the baby.” Already discharged and home from hospital, there is little doubt she will be back on her horse as soon as she can. In fact she plans to be at the World Eventing Championships in August and will take the baby along with her, just as her own mother, Princess Anne, did with her.
Although both admitted that the baby was a “shock” and not planned, Zara has said that “I hope we’re going to be good parents – that’s the plan.” Any baby, royal, ‘commoner’, or not, could not wish for a better start in life than that. Tindall has joked that he hopes the baby will not inherit his nose, broken eight times and now quite misshapen. The child will certainly not inherit any title and is likely to be brought up well away from any media intrusion.
By Kate Henderson