Zara Tindall: ‘I was obviously very lucky that my mother didn’t give us any titles’

Mike and Zara Tindall sat down for a podcast interview this week, and it turned out to be a headline-generator. Yesterday, we talked about Mike’s nickname for Prince William – “One Pint Willy” – and what it could possibly mean that William is apparently a “bad drinker.” In the interview, Zara also discussed what it was like to grow up the daughter of Princess Anne, but without a title. Anne rejected titles for her children, which allowed them to make all kinds of business deals. Zara is a professional equestrian and she’s had lucrative sponsorships and brand deals for years.

Zara Tindall has revealed she’s ‘lucky’ that Princess Anne didn’t give her a royal title as she spoke candidly about her family in a new podcast. The mother-of-three and her husband Mike, who live in Princes Anne’s Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire, were interviewed by former rugby player Rob Burrow on his Total Sport podcast. During the discussion, Rob – who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 – asked the couple what advice they would give to their seven-year-old selves.

Although she was originally daunted by the question, Zara went on to discuss her role in the Institution – and how happy she is that Princess Anne didn’t force her and her brother Peter to be working royals.

She explained: ‘From my point of view, I was obviously very lucky that my mother didn’t give us any titles so I really commend her on that. We were very lucky that we got to do it a bit our own way. My family has a great work ethic as well which I’m hoping they instilled in me and is still going to this day. Hopefully, we can pass it onto our kids. Now, my brother and my cousins love to go back and do the same things and I hope that our children have the same experiences that we did when we were growing up. You don’t really appreciate that until you’re older and you’ve got kids.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“My family has a great work ethic…” I mean, her mother has a great work ethic. Her uncle, the king, has a good work ethic. Not so much with her cousins. But at the end of the day, Anne really knew what she was doing by raising her kids as “normal” rather than royal. Zara and Peter get all of the perks of royalty – all of the big invitations, all of the attention that comes with being royal-adjacent – and they still get to make their own money and they’re not being manipulated by King Charles. Plus, now that QEII has passed, I get the feeling that Zara, Mike and Peter feel like “anything goes” with their money-making schemes. Mike seems especially desperate for any kind of paying gig.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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64 Responses to “Zara Tindall: ‘I was obviously very lucky that my mother didn’t give us any titles’”

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  1. BayTampaBay says:

    “Zara Tindall has revealed she’s ‘lucky’ that Princess Anne didn’t give her a royal title as she spoke candidly about her family in a new podcast.”

    Anne cannot give or not give titles. QEII offered Captain Mark Phillips an Earldom (just like she did with Anthony Armstrong-Jones) at the time he married Anne.

    Captain Mark Phillips (and Anne) turned down this offer as Mark did not want to be hindered in business dealings by a title.

    The Queen Mum wanted all her great-grandchildren to be titled.

    • Chloe says:

      Exactly. It was never up to anne. Her children could only have titles if their father took up the earldom because titles are only referred through males.

      • Becks1 says:

        Of course Anne cannot give titles, but I am 100% sure Zara understands that better than any of us here. I think the issue is that if Anne HAD wanted her children to have titles, Mark Phillips would have accepted an earldom. Neither wanted their children to have titles, and he didn’t want to be an earl, so no title was bestowed.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Becks1 – What bothers me is that Zara is not telling the “complete” story and the real reasons it went down. No doubt if Anne had wanted Phillips to be titled, he would probably have accepted a title. I believe 100% that Anne did not want Mark Phillips to be titled nor did she want her children titled.

        No matter how you feel about Anne, lover her or hate her, she seems to be the only one of her siblings with any common sense and the ability to read the room.

    • Macky says:

      @bay after all these years that’s really the real reason. Mark p and probably Anne saw the money writing on the wall and decided no titles. It makes perfect sense. Cause Zara acts like she wants a title.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      It’s the same with Sophie saying her kids get to “choose” if they want to take a royal title when they turn 18. That is entirely up to Charles, not Sophie’s kids. Elizabeth said Ed’s kids would not be styled as children of a prince, only as children of an earl (later, a duke). Now that Elizabeth is dead, it would take Charles to change that. Or eventually, William. But I doubt either Charles or William will do so.

      • Kara C. says:

        I’m pretty sure that this is different.

        Edward’s children are welcome to the titles of “prince” and “princess” simply because they were born the grandchildren of a monarch, just as Archie and Lilibet are. I think Sophie and Edward were convinced not to use them when they were born because of the anti-monarchy sentiment at the time.

        But both Louise and James are technically a princess and a prince right *now*, and they are free to use those titles if they want to, as no letter patent was written depriving them of such. This is not up to KCIII, unless he decides to write up a letter patent depriving them of their titles.

        Zara and her brother Peter were never going to have titles unless, as BayTampaBay said, Captain Mark Phillips had taken an Earldom. Then, she’d be a lady and I believe he’d be a viscount.

      • Emmitt says:

        It’s actually NOT up to Charles whether Louise & James “take” a title because they were born HRH Princess Louise and HRH Prince James the minute they took a breath, just as it was not up to Charles whether Archie & Lili had titles …they acquired the title the minute the Queen died. Charles can try to take Louise, James, Archie and Lili’s titles away but they were never his to give in the first place. Sophie and Edward chose not to style their children as Prince/Princess but that doesn’t mean they’re not.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Emmitt – You are correct!

        Sophie & Edward. with complete consent and agreement from QEII, requested their children be “styled” as children of an Earl then as a Duke with Edward succeeded to the Dukedom of Edinburgh. It was the decision of Edward, Sophie & QEII to “style” the Wessex “children” as such. Louise and James were HRH Princess/Prince of the UK the day they were born as male-line grandchildren of the Monarch.

      • anotherlily says:

        Louise and James were born through the male line as grandchildren of a reigning monarch so they were automatically Princess and Prince. However, it was decided that they would be raised with the titles of children of an Earl. At 18 it becomes their choice whether or not they use their full legal titles. So far Louise has decided against this.

      • fallingleaves says:

        Ed’s kids legally are still entitled to be called “HRH Princess Louise of Edinburgh” and HRH Prince James of Edinburgh”.

        QEII never issued a new letters patent depriving them of the HRH Prince(ss) titles that the 1917 letters patent gave them.

        Sophie is 100% correct that Louise or James could still choose to style themselves that way. There was an informal agreement between QEII and Ed and Sophie.

    • Ann says:

      Then she 100% could have said it. But she didn’t. Late reading this, but Prince Phillip was against Lord Snowdon having a title according to his aide. I think that might have influenced Princess Anne as well. Agree with everything but Anne. I think she has enough sense to know to shut up that’s it. This was meant to be up top.

  2. Libra says:

    Her mother has no authority to grant titles. Only The Queen can do that. Anne was able to reject the offer but the post reads “mother did not grant titles” is in error.

  3. equality says:

    Her mother couldn’t give them royal titles. They weren’t entitled to Prince/Princess because they were from a female line. Which is stupid since they were exactly the same blood relation of the queen as the ones who did get those titles. The only way they would have had titles is if their father had accepted a dukedom or QE had given Tindall a title when they married. And, if her father had accepted a duke’s title, she would have only been Lady Zara.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      With the status and precedent of being a daughter of a non-royal Duke or Earl.

      Phillips was NEVER going to get a Dukedom but the offer of an Earldom was on the table and then quickly relegated to the rubbish bin by Anne. The Queen Mum was NOT happy with the outcome of the event.

  4. Jais says:

    She and her husband can merch freely without being called out. Or at least not super called out.

    • SURE says:

      Even without a title she’s still benefiting (merching) from her royal lineage. As for her mother’s work ethic that is also somewhat disingenuous. According to the anti-monarchy group Republic, A’s engagement numbers equate to just over two months work; and she’s promoted as the hardest working royal!

  5. Vanessa says:

    I never forget the way this woman acted at Harry and Meghan wedding and a lot people made a ton of excuses for saying she was pregnant. Her and husband are nothing more than a bunch of tacky hateful racist people she would have love if she got herself a title . She not fool anyone with this crap her and husband are so far up William ass it’s pathetic .

    • Nlopez says:

      Yass Vanessa!! 💯👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    • Miranda says:

      I knew several British acquaintances from rather posh backgrounds who got super defensive of Zara and the other royals who behaved so disrespectfully at the wedding. They were insisting that there was nothing racist about it, that the American style of peaching is so much more loose and conversational that they would’ve snickered just as much at a white pastor, or that because few Brits attend any sort of religious services that they would giggle out of pure awkwardness, etc. It was one bullshit excuse after another, and they could not be convinced that it was rooted in, at the very least, passive racism. The excuse of supposedly not knowing how to act in church was especially ridiculous, considering that the monarch is the head of a church and much of the royal calendar revolves around various religious services.

    • BQM says:

      I’m not in all their heads but Meghan’s good friend Janina Gavankar had a different take. She said the crowd on 1200 right outside and watching it on screens kept erupting into loud cheers. You could hear it all through the church and she said it made everyone giggle and laugh.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I mean, sure, Zara and Peter seem to have the best of both worlds. They always knew they were never going to be working royals, so they didn’t have that weird adjustment period/reality check that Beatrice and Eugenie had (Beatrice more so than Eugenie). They still get to capitalize on being the oldest grandchildren of QEII, they still get sponsorships and business deals based on that relationship, they still get to attend the big royal events like the coronation, christmas lunch, sandringham christmas, etc if they want to. They get to go to the royal enclosure at Ascot, all that kind of stuff.

    but no one is tracking how much their oufits cost for each appearance and no one is really questioning their sponsorships etc.

    So yeah, overall, it seems that by Anne’s first husband not accepting or not wanting a title, things ended up working out well for Zara and Peter.

    But even if Mark Phillips had been made Earl of Gatcombe or whatever, would people have expected Peter and Zara to be working royals a result? were viscount linley or Sarah Chatto ever expected to be working royals?

    ETA omg I’m laughing at all the comments about how Anne cannot grant titles, like Zara doesn’t understand how titles etc work better than anyone here. The point is that if Anne had wanted her children to have titles, and it was THAT big an issue for her, they would have had titles bc Mark Phillips would have been made an Earl.

    • Nic919 says:

      There was never any real discussion of Anne’s kids being working royals because the Queen had three sons with children and so they would have been expected to do it first. And even now Edward’s kids are only being discussed because W and K are very lazy and Charles did not plan on Harry and his family leaving.

      Andrew set up a situation for his daughters to be a part of the working royals discussion but that’s because he wanted all the perks.

    • Ann says:

      Zara barely seems to know what day it is. But I don’t get the slights at others. The Yorks and now Harry and Meghan. If you’re happy it’s unnecessary to slam others. I think Zara is jealous. It wasn’t her decision but her parents and likely Prince Phillip. That doesn’t mean you can’t regret them.

  7. MaryContrary says:

    Who can forget Peter and Autumn Phillips selling their wedding photos to Hello magazine back in the day? So tacky. And I guess now that the Queen is dead they will continue to give interviews and blatantly go after sponsorships. Explain again how everything Meghan did was so beneath the RF standards?

    • Macky says:

      I realized after I read Meghan had to give up her UN (I think) ambassadorship it seemed, because (at,the time) countess Sophie is something at the UN. that the main reason they criticized Meghan is because her dealing was/are better. More impactful.

      Sophie gave such a lackluster speech. It was just words. I remember being shocked for Meghan. She had to give up her thing so Sophie could bs a speech once a year. Blah.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “Who can forget Peter and Autumn Phillips selling their wedding photos to Hello magazine back in the day?”

      It was all Anne’s idea to sell the exclusive on the wedding pictures to Hello magazine so the proceeds could be used to pay for the wedding as she refused to use her own funds.

  8. tamsin says:

    Being royal adjacent is the best deal. Zara is a good athlete, but I’m sure being the Queen’s grandchildren helped them get the profile and the endorsements. I think it’s Zara who has the major endorsements, and she and Mike seem to have the Magic Millions gig as a couple.

    • Becks1 says:

      What, you don’t count Peter Phillips’ milk gig as a “major endorsement”??!?

      *clutches pearls*

      • Macky says:

        It looks like Peter Philips tried to have a real job in China but went back home to England. I wonder what happeded.

      • BQM says:

        @mackey He worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland and his position took him to Hong Kong for two years (2098-10). He then returned to England and in 2012 left for a position at another firm where he’s still employed.

    • equality says:

      She won a team silver in the 2012 Olympics. Her teammates, who are also very successful equestrians have estimated net worth of 100,000 to 1 mil. So, yeah, being related to QE got her the big deals.

  9. JaneS says:

    Zara and her family live on Annes estate, which was given to her by QE.
    Titles or not.
    Zara and Mike and their kids all are wealthy and living pretty soft lives.
    All they have to do is stay on Chucks good side, dress up, bring the kids and fill in the space on events.
    Chuck is getting low on “royals” to call in from the bench, ya know.

    I am getting burned out on all the wealth hoarders who are now on SM everywhere.
    “Royalty” my broke, working class butt!
    Meanwhile, I been working since I was 15, and barely able to afford my basic needs.
    The majority of us, IMO, would be thrilled beyond reason if we had 3 months extra income to fall back on.
    But the BRF keeps on sucking off the tax payers teat.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Something else to keep in mind. Anne owns Gatacome Park 100% outright. Gatcombe Park is not and never has been a “crown” property. This is completely different from Andrew’s “ownership” of Sunninghill Park which was quite a legal entanglement.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      @Janes: I was going to say the same. They have all the perks without the obligations. And they don’t work; they just endorse and promote. On top of it, they live on Mom’s estate. Who needs titles? Pretty cushy life.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Agree with both of you. No rent, no mortgage payment? That right there puts them way ahead of pretty much everyone. That’s down to being royal, title or nor title.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Per Wikipedia: “The couple’s (Zara & Mike) home, Aston Farm, is a seven-bedroom farmhouse next to the Gatcombe Park estate.”

    • Macky says:

      Yes Janes. I was just watching a film trailer. The lead is an UBER WEALTHY woman who wants to be an actress. They give her lead roles. They lie about her world traveler background. She is super protected and most people have never heard her speak expect in cartoons.

      These wealth hoarders want everything. They want to be actors and models without the work. Everything is cgi. Acting and modeling was a way for poor people to get ahead. That’s basically gone. Even boxing has gotten more brutal because rich kids get the nice fight days. Then you have the drugs which can cost thousands. You will always be minor league because you can’t train the same.

  10. anotherlily says:

    Titles are passed through the male line. It may sound unfair but there are also ways in which the system promotes females. If a woman marries a titled man she automatically shares his status and takes the female version of his title. If her own birth status is higher she retains that status. On her marriage Princess Anne became HRH Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips. Her husband remained Captain Mark Phillips. Sarah Ferguson though divorced retains her status as Duchess of York. Her daughters are Princess, Mrs husband’s name.

    The social climbing Middletons aimed their daughters at titled men. In the case of Kate she was aimed at a prince and it is clear from commentary after the marriage that the Middletons expected the family to be ennobled. This would have been achieved by conferring a title on Michael Middleton. If he had been created Earl of Bucklebury, for example, Carole would become Countess of Bucklebury, Pippa would have become Lady Phillipa and James would have been a Viscount and would eventually inherit the earldom. Kate would also have the title Lady Catherine.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Phippa was told by Carole to “find a Duke”.

      Phippa spent years cultivating (going after) George Percy, Earl Percy (future Duke of Northumberland) and Charles Innes-Ker, then Marquess of Bowmont and now the current 11th Duke of Roxburghe.

    • MaryContrary says:

      It’s not 1700 though-there will be no titles conferred on the Middletons.

  11. RoRo says:

    I feel that Zara probably does feel relieved not to have a title, but I wonder if Mike feels the same way. He really does love the pomp and attention. Not that they would have been given one at marriage, had Zara had a title to begin with. But I think he still would have liked it.

    • sparrow says:

      He is an absolute oik. He thinks of himself as the BR family bulldog, with a bit of banter here and a bit of anger on their behalf there. A total oik.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    It just goes to show how far this Royal myth making goes. She’s basically lying that she was in line for a title.

  13. Flower says:

    Why do they keep repeating this lie that Anne refused the titles.

    Do these RR’s still not understand the system of male preference primogeniture or are they just selectively amnesiac when it suits them?

    Also notice that this talking point was essentially a stone in Harry and Meghan’s garden despite the lack of congruence given that Harry is a male successor.

    This was deliberately orchestrated to provide talking points for the usual sh!t house tabloid press,

  14. Paisley25 says:

    Has there been any news about her brother Peter’s Kensington Palace Ice Rink money venture? I remember the initial announcement, but nothing since.

  15. andrea says:

    there is some shady dealings with the Queens purchase of Anne’s home Gatcombe Park. and now Mark Phillips, Zara and Peter have homes on the estate.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      QEII “personally & privately” purchased Gatcombe Park for Anne as a wedding present.

      Gatcombe Park Estate never was part of any of the “crown” properties or the Duchy of Lancaster.

      The house and home farm were bought by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976 for Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips; the price was not disclosed but is believed to have been between £500,000 and £750,000 (equivalent to £5,743,000 in 2021).The previous owner was Lord “Rab” Butler of Saffron Walden, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a former Home Secretary, who had inherited the house from his father-in-law, the art collector Samuel Courtauld.

    • BQM says:

      It’s not shady. The queen bought the Gatcombe park estate. Ashton park, where the Tindalls live, was mark Phillips’s post divorce home. Part of the settlement I think. But Anne still owned it. When they were heading for divorce, Anne put Ashton park in trust to make sure it would stay in the family. which worked out since Phillips divorced his second wife. Zara and Peter jointly own it.

  16. Lizzie Bennett says:

    I thought QEII offered to change the letters patent to include ALL grandchildren of the monarch so that Anne’s children would be Prince and Princess and Anne turned her down.

  17. Nerd says:

    It doesn’t matter if Anne was given the choice to give her children titles or not. They both benefit from being royal by blood and not by title even though they don’t work for the royal family, but how is what they experience any different from the York sisters or even Lady Louise and James? None of them work for the crown yet they all benefit with royal accommodations or royal adjacent accommodations. They are expected to pay nothing at all or very little regardless of them having titles or not. They are able to live freely outside the royal bubble while benefiting from their royal relations. I don’t see how Zara and Peter not having titles is any different from their cousins outside of William and Harry. It sounds like they are just trying to throw shade for Harry and Meghan for not wanting to go against the laws that automatically made their children prince and princess.

  18. bisynaptic says:

    These people have no clue what a work ethic is. The point about being grateful for not having titles must be a dig at Andrew and Harry—otherwise, there’s not much there, there. There’s obviously nothing keeping Royal Highnesses from making money on their own, as both Eugenie and Beatrice have done. The only advantage to Zara’s not having a title is that it gives her more breathing space with respect to Mike’s very obviously déclassé shenanigans.