Zara Tindall Reveals Why She's 'Lucky' Mom Princess Anne Didn't Give Her a Royal Title

"We were very lucky that we got to do it a bit our own way," Princess Anne's daughter said of the freedom in her upbringing

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips emerge from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding
Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips emerge from Canongate Kirk church on their July 30, 2011 wedding day. Photo:

Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

Zara Tindall is explaining why she's grateful that Princess Anne didn’t give her the title of princess.

The professional equestrian, 42, brought up the topic while appearing on the Seven: Rob Burrow podcast on Wednesday with husband Mike Tindall. In a wide-ranging conversation on royal family nicknames, raising kids, and being a pro athlete, host Rob Burrow asked the couple to share a bit about their childhoods and what advice they would give their 7-year-old selves — which got Zara talking.

“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,” the pro rider began with a laugh. “We were very lucky that we got to do it a bit our own way,” she continued, referring to her upbringing with elder brother Peter Phillips

Alluding to the values they were raised with, she continued, “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, that we can pass it onto our kids.” Zara and Mike, 46, tied the knot in 2011 (just like Prince William and Kate Middleton) and went on to welcome three children: Mia, 9, Lena, 5, and Lucas, 2. The Tindall kids follow their mother in the line of succession and do not have royal titles.

Princess Anne, 73, welcomed Zara and Peter, 46, during her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips, which ended in divorce in 1992. When she became a mom, the Princess Royal broke decades of tradition by opting out of royal titles or HRH styling for her children. While Peter and Zara were not entitled to royal status by birth, Queen Elizabeth extended a courtesy title to Anne’s children, which her daughter politely declined in the hope of providing a more normal childhood.

"I think it was probably easier for them, and I think most people would argue that there are downsides to having titles," Princess Anne told Vanity Fair in 2020. "So I think that was probably the right thing to do."

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall attend Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 16, 2022 in Ascot, England.
Princess Anne, Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall at the Royal Ascot in June 2022. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Anne’s own position in the line of succession might have also factored into her decision. Though she was the second child born to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Princess Anne was twice bumped back in the line of succession following the births of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Though she was older than her brothers, under the Act of Settlement 1701, the British crown passed down the line of succession according to male-preference primogeniture.

This policy reigned until Parliament passed the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, dictating that birth order, not sex, would determine succession to the throne. While the act affects all royals born after Oct. 28, 2011, the family has so greatly expanded that it’s unlikely Anne, her children or grandchildren would hold the throne.

Zara Phillips, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and Peter Phillips chat together on the third day of the Badminton Horse Trials on May 3, 2008 in Badminton, England
Zara Tindall (who was then known as Zara Phillips!), Princess Anne and Peter Phillips at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2008. Samir Hussein/Getty

Zara then affectionately referenced her family on the Seven: Rob Burrow podcast and spoke about the joy of sharing traditions.

“Now, my brother and my cousins love to go back and do the same things. 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, I don’t think, and you've got kids,” she told the host and his wife, Lindsey. “It was easy, it was always there… and then you’ve got the kids, and you’re like, “Oh, remember when we did this this summer! Or Christmas” Everything comes flooding back.”

“Just to be able to give the kids a small part of that again is really exciting and makes it all worth it,” she added.

Savannah Phillips, Peter Phillips, Isla Phillips and Zara Tindall attend The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey
Savannah Phillips, Peter Phillips, Isla Phillips and Zara Tindall attend The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on Dec. 8.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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Zara, Mike, Peter, Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence are frequent fixtures at royal family events and were all spotted leaving the royal family's traditional Christmas lunch, which King Charles and Queen Camilla hosted at Windsor Castle for the second year in a row.

Next week, the Tindalls will likely continue tradition and celebrate Christmas at Sandringham. Last year, Zara and Mike brought their daughter Lena along for the royal family’s classic walk to and from church at St. Mary Magdalene for the first time, which was an especially significant year for a few reasons. Last Christmas was King Charles and Queen Camilla’s first time leading the family on the holiday following the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, as well as the return to the annual march time since 2019 due to the COVID pandemic.

Princess Charlotte, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince Louis, Prince George, King Charles III and Prince William, Prince of Wales attend the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2022 in Sandringham, Norfolk. King Charles III ascended to the throne on September 8, 2022, with his coronation set for May 6, 2023.
Queen Camilla and King Charles attend the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25, 2022.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

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