Relive Zara and Mike Tindall’s joyful Scottish wedding as they celebrate 22 years together on this day

  • Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall were married on July 30, 2011, at Canongate Kirk 
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Some of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren have been married amid adoring crowds in the formal splendour of Westminster Abbey or St George’s Chapel. 

But when Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, walked down the aisle with England ruby star Mike Tindall, on June 30, 2011 – just three months after the wedding of William and Kate – they did so in the simple surroundings of Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

There were crowds of well-wishers for Scotland’s first royal wedding in 20 years and Queen Elizabeth was guest of honour. But there were no television cameras for what remained – just about –  a private occasion.

And the result was an outpouring of joy in the Edinburgh sunshine, as these pictures show.

This is how The Mail on Sunday reported Zara’s big day at the time: 

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall were married on July 30, 2011, at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh

By Jo Macfarlane

In a single tender moment, their love was plain to see. Standing in the warm Edinburgh sunshine, Zara Phillips sealed her marriage to England rugby star Mike Tindall yesterday with a gentle kiss.

The newlyweds gazed at each other and exchanged a sweet smile before leaving the Canongate Kirk on the city’s ancient Royal Mile hand-in-hand to greet the 6,000 well-wishers who had gathered on the narrow streets.

It was another proud day for the future of the British Monarchy.

Although the couple seemed determined to keep their wedding a private family occasion, the crowds seemed equally determined to share in their happiness during the first Royal wedding to be held in Scotland in 20 years.

Many frantically waved Union Jacks and the Scottish Saltire as the couple emerged from the ceremony shortly before 4pm, filling the air with cheers. Some, clearly touched by the splendour of the occasion, dabbed their eyes.

One of the highlights was always going to be the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, attending their first wedding since their own just three months ago. 

But even they could not overshadow Zara on her special day.

Zara’s blonde hair was swept up into an elegant full-bodied chignon and accessorised with the Greek Key tiara lent by her mother, Princess Anne

The bride was accompanied by her proud father Captain Mark Phillips

Princess Anne, mother-of-the-bride, wore a floral bolero-style jacket with a pink skirt. She is accompanied here by the father of the groom, Phil Tindall

In a romantic full-length ivory silk gown with silk tulle detail, designed by the Queen’s favourite couturier Stewart Parvin, the one-time Royal rebel, who was on Friday seen in scruffy jeans and flip-flops, looked every inch the traditional bride.

For the talented equestrian – who is often reluctant to embrace her regal lineage – this was her chance to be a princess for a day.

With her blonde hair swept up into an elegant full-bodied chignon and sparkling with diamonds from the Greek Key tiara lent by her mother, she managed to look effortlessly beautiful and happy.

The full veil, also made of silk tulle, was held back from her face as she held a stunning large white bouquet, studded with thistles in a nod to the location, by Mayfair florist Paul Thomas. On her feet were an elegant pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.

Zara, 30, reportedly the Queen’s favourite granddaughter, was accompanied to the church by her proud father Captain Mark Phillips after earlier leaving in a Bentley from the Palace of Holyroodhouse several hundred yards down the Royal Mile.

She arrived at 3.07pm, fashionably late for the 3pm service.

Her maid of honour, best friend Dolly Maude, wore a dove grey dress with dramatic Dior bow by Stewart Parvin.

Her bridesmaids – Jaz Jocelyn, the daughter of a family friend; the best man’s daughter Hope Balshaw; Zara’s half-sister Stephanie Phillips; and Mrs Maude’s daughter Nell – wore off-white dresses with a simple bow by local dressmaker Sue Palmer. Pageboy Ted Maude, Zara’s godson, delighted the crowd in a traditional Balmoral tartan kilt.

The couple had begun their wedding celebrations in style with a cocktail party on board the decommissioned Royal yacht Britannia on Friday night. Later, wedding guests were to be seen on George Street enjoying Edinburgh’s nightlife.

But Zara returned to the Queen’s official Scottish residence, Holyroodhouse, to spend her final night as a single woman with close family.

The late Queen Elizabeth looked regal in a stunning pink coat for her granddaughter’s big day

The royal trio, Prince Harry, Princess Kate, and Prince William were spotted together at the wedding

Queen Camilla was dressed in an elegant cream ensemble, pictured here arriving at the wedding

Senior Royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, also stayed at the Palace.

The peace of the Palace was in sharp contrast to the bustle on the Royal Mile where preparations began at breakfast time yesterday. Florists fixed a canopy across the porch of the 17th Century church, the official Kirk of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and made final preparations within as crowds began to build swiftly outside.

Many queued early to ensure a glimpse of the happy couple, their Royal guests and the rugby stars in attendance.

They began to arrive shortly after 1pm to cheers and applause. One of the first was actress Katherine Kelly, 31, who plays Becky McDonald in Coronation Street and went to school with the groom in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The biggest cheer was reserved for the arrival of the 32-year-old groom along with best man and former Gloucester and England team mate Iain Balshaw, who was nursing a bruised face following a recent accident on his moped.

They were joined by ushers Ian Tindall, the groom’s older brother; the bride’s brother Peter Phillips; Gloucester winger James Simpson-Daniel; James Lofthouse, who played youth rugby with Tindall; and Bath player Andrew Beattie.

All were dressed in identical morning suits by Cad & The Dandy with Oliver Sweeney shoes.

The Queen, in an apricot wool coat and printed silk dress also by designer Parvin, and the Duke of Edinburgh were the last guests to arrive.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – unquestionably the star guests and using their Scottish title as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn for the first time – arrived with Prince Harry and appeared at pains not to be seen to outshine the happy couple, making their way straight into the church.

Kate was elegant in a tailored cream embroidered jacket – which she first wore in 2006 to the wedding of Camilla Parker Bowles’s daughter Laura – and matching broad-brimmed hat, while William looked dashing in a morning suit.

Princess Anne’s mother-of-the-bride outfit was an elegant floral bolero-style jacket with pleated dark pink skirt. The Princess Royal was accompanied by her second husband, Commander Timothy Laurence.

Neither Harry’s former girlfriend, Zimbabwean Chelsy Davy, nor the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister Pippa Middleton, were invited.

Other Royals attending included Prince Charles and Camilla, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Prince Andrew and his daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie.

The young Princesses appeared keen to improve their style credentials after their outfits at William and Kate’s wedding saw them unkindly compared to ‘pantomime dames’. Beatrice wore a flattering marine blue skirt and matching pillbox hat, while Eugenie looked elegant in a chocolate and cream outfit with bow detail.

The couple begun their celebrations with a cocktail party on board the  Royal Yacht Britannia the night before

The yacht, which served the Queen and Royal Family for 44 years and carried out 968 official voyages before she was sold

The couple celebrated with 150 of their nearest and dearest the night before the big day

Among the crowd, shop assistant Lyndsay Wallace, 29, from Motherwell, said: ‘I liked the turquoise outfit Beatrice was wearing, it was a better look this time – that hat at William and Kate’s wedding wasn’t nice at all.

‘It was great to see Zara’s dress, she looked gorgeous. Everyone loved to see Wills and Kate too.’

Other guests included Harry’s former girlfriend, TV presenter Natalie Pinkham, the bride’s godmother Lady Helen Stewart and her racing driver husband Sir Jackie Stewart, and Zara’s godfather Andrew Parker Bowles, ex-husband of the Duchess of Cornwall.

Many of the elite of English rugby were there, including the team’s manager Martin Johnson, Sir Clive Woodward, Lawrence Dallaglio, Mike Catt, Austin Healey and Jonny Wilkinson.

Leading equestrians, including world number two eventer William Fox-Pitt and 2010 Sports Personality of the Year, jockey Tony McCoy, also arrived.

Few details were released about the ceremony and no cameras were allowed inside the church, but it is known that it was filled with hundreds of scented white stargazer lilies, roses and carnations and, in an echo of William and Kate’s wedding, the branches of beech trees.

The 45-minute ceremony was conducted by Canongate’s resident minister Reverend Neil Gardner. A choir of 15 boys and girls from Zara’s old Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun performed Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, Love Divine All Loves Excelling, Amazing Grace and Jerusalem, as well as a Gaelic blessing.

The happy couple left the Kirk in a Bentley for the 400-yard journey to Holyroodhouse for the reception.

They were followed by senior members of the Royal Family and Tindall’s delighted parents Linda, a 63-year-old retired social worker, and Phil, 64, a former bank official.

Kate and William were laughing the night away as they joined their cousins on the yacht for the pre-wedding celebrations

Dressed in a romantic full-length ivory silk gown with silk tulle detail, designed by the Queen’s favourite Stewart Parvin, she looked every inch the traditional bride

The newlyweds shared a loving kiss following the ceremony

Dolly Maude, Zara’s maid of honour, waved at the crowds as she stood alongside the flower girls and page boy 

The guests were full of smiles as they waited to enter the church

Zara’s stunning look continued during the evening reception when she reportedly changed in to a gown by Dublin couturier Paul Costelloe.

A grand marquee was erected in the piazza of the palace where guests enjoyed a champagne reception as a military band played.

Dinner had a Scottish theme and included a lobster and crayfish cocktail, Scottish venison with dauphinois potatoes, and a chocolate fondant with strawberries. The party was organised by Peregrine Armstrong Jones of party planners Bentleys, who designed the wedding with the couple and Princess Anne.

For the newlyweds, there will be no immediate honeymoon. Instead, in keeping with their down-to-earth approach, they will go back to work – Zara will head off to the Gatcombe International Horse Trials while her husband will return to training.

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