Zara Quashes Engagement Rumours
By Laura Elston, PA Deputy Court Correspondent
Zara Phillips quashed rumours today of an engagement to rugby star boyfriend Mike Tindall.
In a chatty informal radio interview, the royal was quizzed on whether World Cup-winning Tindall had asked, or was going to ask her to marry him.
She laughed, then joked: “I hope not.”
The Princess Royal’s daughter and Tindall talked to BBC Radio Five Live side by side while attending Cheltenham races on Gold Cup day.
TV presenter Clare Balding, a friend of the couple, remarked on their marital status, saying “I thought we did know” – to which Zara replied: “No, no, no.”
Rumours have circulated that the pair were already engaged.
Balding remarked “He hasn’t asked?” – which prompted another “No, no” from Zara.
The presenter then said: “Is he going to?”.
Zara laughed and replied: “I hope not”.
The 23-year-old royal and burly sportsman Tindall joked their way through the on-air chat.
Tindall referred to Zara as his “better half”, while she accused him of stealing her racing tip.
Balding’s co-presenter John Inverdale questioned Tindall, who owns a bullmastiff, about his pets, describing them as “vicious beasts”.
Tindall quipped, making Zara burst out laughing: “You can’t talk about her like that. She’s not that bad.”
Zara, who previously dated top jockey Richard Johnson, was asked whether it was rugby players or jockeys who were more interesting to be with.
She remained diplomatic, saying: “That is a horrid question. Very different. Both very professional and very hardworking, but very different.”
Inverdale remarked that rugby players were bigger, with Zara saying: “That’s slightly obvious.”