Zara Phillips is engaged!!

Zara and Mike

So understated is their lifestyle, many people imagined they were engaged or married already. But today, the Queen’s eldest grandchild Zara Phillips and her long-term boyfriend Mike Tindall finally announced their engagement.

Zara, the 29-year-old daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, has followed her cousin William in taking the plunge after a lengthy courtship.

In a statement yesterday afternoon she said: ‘I was really shocked when Mike proposed but I am very happy.’

Tindall added: ‘I am delighted that Zara has agreed to marry me. We are both very excited about the next stage of our lives together.’

The couple, who first met at the Rugby World Cup in 2003, have been living together in Gloucestershire for several years.Tindall proposed last night at their home – just weeks after William popped the question to Kate Middleton.

The couple have not yet set a date but it seems likely they will tie the knot in 2011 – setting up the prospect of two royal weddings next year.

Unlike William, who kept his engagement secret for almost a month, the Royal family were quickly informed of the news.

A Palace spokesman said: ‘The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are delighted. They got engaged yesterday evening at the couple’s home in Gloucestershire and a date has yet to be set.’

Zara, an international event rider, and Tindall have been dating for seven years and living together for almost five after moving in together in Gloucestershire, the home of his rugby club. 

‘I’m quite a traditional guy so I’ll be doing it the usual way round – marriage and then children.’

She was first linked to Tindall when the England centre was playing in the World Cup in Australia – although they initially denied rumours of romance.

Zara is not a Princess and does not have the title Her Royal Highness because her mother decided she wanted her children to have more normal lives.

They are not supported by the Civil List and do not perform official Royal duties but instead make their own money and keep a lower profile.

What better way to celebrate the engaged but with a personalised number plate, for example MT11 ZTX, which will look like Mike and Zara Tindall,with a kiss at the end.

Mike and Zara Tindall

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