3) Princess Zara Phillips, UK
Zara Phillips may be 12th in line to the throne, but she’s No. 1 in our hearts. The only daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, this busty 29-year-old blonde is an accomplished equestrian who won gold medals at the European Eventing Championship in 2005 and the World Equestrian Games in 2006, which led her to gain the Sports Personality of the Year title.
When she isn’t busy riding horses, Philips is busy cosying up to rough-and-tumble England rugby player Mike Tindall, to whom she is presently engaged.
Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall, MBE was born on 15th May 1981, She is commonly known as Zara Phillips and formally as Mrs Michael Tindall, is the second-eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She is a respected British equestrian.
Zara Phillips is the second child and only daughter of Anne, Princess Royal and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. She is 15th in the line of succession to the 16 thrones of the Commonwealth realms. She is married to former England rugby union player Mike Tindall, but is better known by her maiden name which she uses for informal public occasions. She is listed as “Mrs Michael Tindall” in the line of succession.
Phillips won the Eventing World Championship in Aachen in 2006. The same year she was voted 2006 BBC Sports Personality of the Year by the British viewing public (an award her mother won in 1971). She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List by her grandmother (on the advice of HM Government) for her services to equestrianism. In 2012, she carried an Olympic flame at Cheltenham Racecourse on her horse Toytown. As a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team, she won a Silver Medal at the London 2012 Olympics and was presented with her medal by her mother.
Zara Phillips was born on 15 May 1981 at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington in west London. She was baptised Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips on 27 July 1981, and her first name was chosen by her uncle, the Prince of Wales. Her godparents were: her maternal uncle, Prince Andrew; the Countess of Lichfield; Lady Helen Stewart (wife of Sir Jackie Stewart); Andrew Parker Bowles; and Hugh Thomas.
Phillips has an older brother, Peter Phillips (born 15 November 1977) and two half-sisters, Felicity Tonkin (born in 1985 to her father by his brief affair with Heather Tonkin) and Stephanie Phillips, born 2 October 1997 from her father’s second marriage to Sandy Pflueger. The children of the Princess Royal do not hold any royal or noble title, nor are they automatically entitled to royal status by right of birth, as they are the grandchildren of a monarch in the female line, while their father has no title in his own right.
Phillips went to Beaudesert Park School in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and Port Regis Prep School in Shaftesbury, Dorset, before following other members of the Royal Family by attending Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland. During her schooldays, Phillips excelled at many sporting activities, representing her schools in hockey, athletics and gymnastics. She also excelled academically, scoring 11 GCSEs from A* to C and a B an C in her A-Levels. She later qualified as a physiotherapist specialising in Equine Physiotherapy, from the University of Exeter.
On 21 December 2010, Buckingham Palace announced her engagement to rugby union player Mike Tindall, who plays for Premiership side Gloucester and the England national team. She lives with Tindall at their home in Gloucestershire. The couple met during England’s Rugby World Cup-winning campaign in Australia in 2003.
The wedding was held on 30 July 2011 at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. The bride wore a Stewart Parvin dress and the Meander tiara. This tiara belonged to her great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who became Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark. It was a tiara that her mother also wore. On 8 July 2013, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that they were expecting their first child in early 2014.
Following in both her parents’ footsteps, Phillips is an accomplished equestrian. In June 2003, she announced that she had secured a sponsorship deal with Cantor Index, a leading company in spread betting, to help cover the costs of her equestrian career. Riding her horse Toytown, she collected individual and team gold medals at the 2005 European Eventing Championship in Blenheim, and individual gold and team silver medals at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, making her the reigning Eventing World Champion until 2010.
Despite winning team gold at the 2007 European Eventing Championships in Italy, she failed to defend her individual title after a problem in the show-jumping phase of the competition. The British Olympic Association announced that Phillips would be riding Toytown for the British equestrian team at the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 in Hong Kong. However, an injury sustained by Toytown during training led to her being forced to withdraw from the team. Zara previously missed the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, when Toytown suffered a similar injury during training.
On 25 October 2008, she fell from her horse, Tsunami II, at the 15th fence of a cross-country event at Pau, France, and broke her right collarbone. The horse broke its neck after it had tipped over the hedge and was put down. On 11 June 2012, Phillips was announced as being a part of the British Equestrian team at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She competed in the 2012 Olympics on her new horse, High Kingdom, where she won silver in the team eventing. Her medal was presented by her mother, Princess Anne. Philips finished 2nd at Luhmühlen Horse Trials 2013, on her top horse High Kingdom.
Phillips supports many charitable causes. In 2003, she and her mother took part in the first UK double ship-naming ceremony in Southampton. The Princess Royal named the P&O Cruises liner Oceana, and Phillips named its sister ship Adonia. She frequently attends various events for charity and has taken to supporting certain causes herself, mainly for spinal injuries, equestrian charities and children’s causes. In 2005, she auctioned one of her evening gowns (worn at the London premiere of the film Seabiscuit) to raise money for tsunami relief. She also undertook a visit to New Zealand in her role as patron of The Catwalk Trust. From 1998 to 2005, she served as the president of Club 16-24, a group which encourages young people to take an interest in racing. She is linked to INSPIRE, the Salisbury based medical research charity which helps to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries, and Sargent Cancer Care for Children, the UK’s leading children’s cancer charity.
She appears at events for The Caudwell Charitable Trust, which is targeted at children with special needs, disabilities and serious illnesses. She has continued her family’s long patronage of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and has visited on many occasions. In 2006, she took part in a special charity day for Cantor Index, whose staff were killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks. In 2007, she became patron of the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund. To help with Sport Relief 2008, she posed for her first official royal portrait by artist Jack Vettriano. In 2009, she attended a celebrity poker tournament in Monaco in aid of Darfur, Sudan. In September 2010, she attended the 2012 London Olympic Ball alongside cousin Prince Harry of Wales. In October of the same year she attended another celebrity poker tournament, this time in London, in aid of Cancer Research UK, of which she is Royal Patron.
In 2009, it was announced that Phillips would be designing her own range of equestrian clothing for Musto Outdoor Clothing. The range is named ZP176 after the team number Zara was given when she first represented her country. The range was officially launched in July 2010.
Titles and styles
- Miss Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips from 15 May 1981 to 1 January 2007.
- Miss Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips MBE from 1 January 2007 to 30 July 2011.
- Ms Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips MBE, Mrs. Michael James Tindall from 30 July 2011to present:
- MBE: Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 1 January 2007