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One Royal Couple Was Actually Closer To The Queen Than Kate And William

While most of the world focuses on the duos of Harry and Meghan or William and Kate, there's one royal influential couple that has succeeded at flying under the radar. Once regarded as the Queen's favorites, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike led fairly normal lives until they ended up on front-page headlines across the United Kingdom. So what exactly was Zara and Mike's relationship with the Queen really like, and how did they cope following her tragic passing?

The apple of Her Majesty's eye

Countless people mourned Queen Elizabeth's death, but the Tindalls were particularly affected. They were incredibly close, after all. According to one royal source, they often were the “first invited to a dinner party" put on by the monarch. But what caused the Queen to become so fond of the couple? Well, their lightheartedness, authenticity, and down-to-earth demeanors are hard to deny, especially in light of their incredible story.

A match made in heaven

Before becoming a beloved royal couple, both Zara and Mike built promising careers in sports. Mike played as an outside center for England's national rugby team while Zara made her mark as an equestrian. In addition to being talented athletes, Zara and Mike both reached sporting heights that few before them had ever reached before.

One of the world's greatest

After graduating from university, Zara set out to pursue her equestrian career. While she was talented from the get-go, Zara had no idea of the Olympic glory that awaited her down the line. As for Mike, he was representing England on the world stage. It was during the 2003 Rugby World Cup that Mike and Zara's worlds collided.

The first encounter

Following a World Cup match, Mike decided to go out for a drink. While at the bar, Prince Harry, who is Zara's cousin, decided to introduce her to the brawny rugby player. Fellow rugby player Austin Healey later gave Zara's number to Mike, telling him: "She wants you to text her, to say where you’re all going out after the final so she can come along".