Mike Tindall talked about staying at Buckingham Palace on Thursday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! – admitting he strolled around the royal residence in “jeans and a t-shirt”.
The former rugby player is married to Zara, niece of King Charles III, daughter of his sister Princess Anne and 20th in line to the throne.
And despite her royal status, the sportsman also told his housemates that he wasn’t at all nervous about meeting his wife in 2003, having previously rubbed shoulders with a number of their family members.
During the episode, the six remaining roommates were down to four while Jill Scott and Seann Walsh took over tonight’s Deals On Wheels trial, with Owen Warner examining Mike for his royal ties during downtime.
The Hollyoaks star asked: “Have you been to Buckingham Palace often?”
“More than most,” Mike replied simply when his roommate asked how things were at the palace.
The sportsman explained: “A lot of it is all the state rooms and there is just a little bit of life. Yes, I stayed there.’
Eager to learn more about the protocall at the Palace, Owen continued, “Could you go down in sweatpants and a t-shirt in the morning, or did you have to change clothes?”
“No, jeans and a t-shirt,” confirmed Mike.
A surprised Owen admitted, “I thought you had to wear a suit and boots,” before inquiring, “Mind chatting about it?”
Mike assured the actor he didn’t mind the conversation before being asked directly by the actor if he knew his wife was a king.
‘Yes [I knew], because I know that she is Princess Anne’s daughter. Princess Anne is patron of Scottish rugby,” he explained.
Owen then asked: “Did you feel a bit of pressure? If I were chatting up a girl and then found out she’s a queen, I’d be nervous.”
“No, because we were friends first and William and Harry were big England fans at the time, so we had met them many times. You’ve met more family members than you would normally have met from the woman you’re dating,” Mike said.
Mike played rugby as an outside center for Bath and Gloucester before joining the England squad – while the royal family has long been associated with rugby union.
He and Zara met during the Rugby World Cup in 2003, the same year the athlete received an MBE after helping the English team win the World Cup in Australia.
Mike previously told the Daily Mail how they met: “Zara was in Australia on her gap year and with friends. Clive Woodward had just told me I was out for the semifinals so I went for a beer with two others who weren’t playing, Martin Corry and Austin Healey.
And during the outing, the royal rider left her number for Mike – who contacted her afterwards and became official in early 2004.
After nearly six years of dating, Mike popped the question in 2010 and married the beauty just a year later at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk, with a ceremony attended by the rest of the royal family.
In a previous episode of I’m A Celeb, Mike joked that Zara had trouble looking at him in his pants after Sue Cleaver described seeing him in his underwear as “damn traumatic”.
Coronation Street actress Sue was comforted by Mike as she broke down in tears on a difficult morning after feeling overwhelmed at camp.
On the way to the camp RV, Sue shed some tears, prompting her roommate Mike to hug her to comfort her.
Sue told him: “I only have a moment, that’s all. Just one of these mornings, I don’t wanna take a test, I don’t wanna take a challenge, I don’t wanna eat the shit. I don’t want to sleep with you.’
Mike laughed at her remarks: “Agh, I get that. Just think how Zara feels.”