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Inside Prince Harry’s relationship with Zara and Mike Tindall

Prince Harry says Princess Diana would be ‘sad’ about William rift

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Prince Harry’s bombshell new memoir, Spare, is due to be released next week on Tuesday, January 10. But the 557-page long book was accidentally released in Spain early on Thursday under the name “En La Sombra” which translates to “In The Shadows”. In excerpts from the book, Harry made several allegations about senior members of the Royal Family, including the claim that his older brother, Prince William, physically attacked him. The Duke of Sussex was instrumental in his cousin, Zara Tindall, and her husband of 11 years, Mike Tindall’s relationship coming about, and was later made a godfather to their daughter. And while it is unclear whether Zara or Mike are mentioned in the book, their historically close relationship could now come under further strain following its release.

Although the Tindalls and the Sussexes have enjoyed a close relationship in the past, it appears there was some tension during Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee last summer.

The former England rugby player reportedly deemed his cousin-in-law’s behaviour as that of a “b***end”. Express.co.uk reported in June that a source overheard Mike making the remark at a reception following the Platinum Party concert held at Buckingham Palace.

Body language expert Judi James told how during a thanksgiving service held on June 3, where Meghan and Harry were in attendance, relations between the Duke and Mike appeared to be awkward.

Reports suggeste it appeared as though Mike deliberately avoided speaking to Harry as the royals waited for their cars to arrive, which Ms James said was not his “normal style” as he usually appears “easygoing” and “too tough to get involved in politics”.

Ms James said: “With Mike’s closeness to William in mind, it also appeared to have created a bit of a dilemma as Harry stepped out into Zara’s group as they waited for their transport. Zara looks happy to chat and even turns fully to talk to Harry here, who is looking anxious and keen to get into his own car.

“Mike though remains facing forward, looking about and holding his order of service up with a look of awkwardness. In the end he talks to Viscount Lindley, who turns his own back on Harry, cutting the two men off from Zara’s conversation with Harry.”

Over the Jubilee weekend, it was reported that Mike had grown “incredibly close” with William, according to The Sun. He was, however, also seen chatting with Meghan and Harry.

Additionally, in September last year, following their grandmother’s vigil at Westminster Hall, Harry was spotted riding in the same car as his cousin.

From a young age, the pair have had a close relationship, Harry and William having grown up within a few miles of Zara and her older brother Peter’s Gloucestershire along home.

As children, the four Royal cousins were often seen chatting and joking together at events such as at Christmas church visits during which William said it was “hard to keep a straight face” when surrounded by his young relatives.

Speaking on the Apple Fitness + podcast Time to walk in December about attending church on Christmas morning, the Prince of Wales said: “We sit opposite each other as a family, and growing up, having my cousins sit opposite me has always been quite difficult to keep a straight face at times.”

The closeness between the cousins appears to have continued long after Mike joined the royal fold in 2004, when he and Zara officially began dating.

In 2018, Mike told The Mirror how the younger Royals would keep in touch over WhatsApp, discussing the then-upcoming weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan, Princess Eugenie’s nuptials, as well as the Princess of Wales’ third pregnancy.

Not only this, but in 2019, when Harry and Meghan’s first baby Archie was born, Harry used the cousins’ group chat to announce the news.

Zara and Harry’s fondness for one another other was reflected by the fact that in March 2019, the Duke of Sussex became godfather to Zara and Mike’s youngest daughter, Lena, before he became a father himself.

Harry had also been instrumental in helping the couple get to know each other as he had brought Zara to the 2003 Rugby World Cup and took her to celebrate with the team.

In 2012, The Mirror reported that Mike said: “Harry had asked one of the lads to text him so he could come and celebrate with us. He brought Zara and Peter, her brother, and we got to know each other.”

The former England rugby international also revealed that he had already met Zara’s cousins before he met his now wife in a bar in Sydney, Australia, in 2003.

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But during his time in the Jungle, although Mike told a series of anecdotes about the Royal Family, including one instance where he flashed his mother-in-law, Princess Anne, he only mentioned Harry in passing.

He said: “William and Harry were massive English [rugby] fans at the time. So we’d met them numerous times. So as things go, I met more of the family than you would normally have met of the family of the woman you start dating.”

Prior to entering the Jungle, Mike had not sought official permission but had spoken to William about it.

Speaking on The Good, the Bad and the Rugby podcast in December, the 44-year-old revealed: “You don’t want to upset anyone. I spoke to the Prince of Wales about it, and he said ‘great, go have fun!’”

Since Meghan and Harry’s exit up until their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in 2021, Zara and Mike had been “playing peacemakers” between William and Harry, according to The Sun.

None of the royals nor the Palace has yet to comment on any of the allegations made by Harry.

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