If the latest series of The Crown reminds us of a time in the 1970s when Princess Anne relished getting all dressed up and enjoying the latest trends, then her daughter Zara Tindall is now here to remind us that, these days, for this branch of the Royal Family, comfort, cleanliness and practicality are the biggest influences on style.
“I’ve no idea, I can’t even answer that one,” she apologises, when asked about favourite outfits and designers she likes to wear on special occasions. She is refreshingly honest; she doesn’t employ a stylist and is much more comfortable in her “stretchy skinny jeans” than anything else.
We are speaking because Tindall is the face of Musto, the sports clothing brand, and is the face of a new collaboration between Musto and Landrover (a line of jackets). “My horse box is very much a wardrobe of Musto,” she laughs. “I must have every piece of clothing that Musto does.”
Tindall is an accomplished sportswoman, Olympian, a mother of two, and perhaps one of the most ‘normal’ members of our British Royal Family. She looks comfortable in her clothes, never pinched, or pressured into wearing something that doesn’t really suit her. She is stylish in her own way, by virtue of not giving a damn about which designer she is wearing, nor whether she’s going to spark some sort of a wider trend with her latest look.
At occasions like Royal Ascot, or a royal wedding, Tindall stands with the Royal Family, next to the Duchesses of Cambridge, Cornwall and Sussex, who will commission bespoke outfits from their roster of favourite designers, and her grandmother, the Queen, who works with a team of royal dressers. Tindall’s approach to dressing for such occasions is infinitely more relatable: “It depends on the occasion and what’s needed,” she says. “But I don’t really enjoy shopping. I’m more of an online shopper. It’s a case of when needs must, for me.”
“My style is very, very casual,” she continues. “Especially if I’m just at home with the children in the country. It’s jeans, flat boots or trainers and then a gilet or a coat over the top. Through the years, whenever going to an occasion, the main lesson that my mother taught us was just to make sure that you look presentable, clean and tidy. That was always handed down to us.”
Despite growing up in the Royal Family, Tindall has described how her parents tried to keep things relatively normal during her childhood. It wasn’t until she and her rugby player husband Mike Tindall moved to their home on the Gatcombe estate parklands more recently that she was able to realise a particular fashion-related dream; getting a walk-in wardrobe.
“I have one finally,” she says. “Everyone wants a walk in wardrobe, don’t they? It was always a big thing getting older and realising that dream of having a walk in wardrobe. That thing where you can find everything you need on hand immediately is amazing. When we moved into our current house that was a must for us.”
As for what’s inside that wardrobe - other than the obligatory rain jackets and jodhpurs - Tindall names a few keepsakes that she treasures. “I’ve kept my riding boots from my World Championship win,” she says. “Presents always become sentimental from family, too. And then you have pieces that you go back to that you rely on in different moods, or that make you feel good about yourself on different occasions.”
With two daughters, Mia and Lena, under the age of six, Tindall admits that a clothing crisis can quickly develop around her house.
“Organising children’s closets is a nightmare because they grow out of things so quickly,” she says. “I find myself trying to move those clothes on as quickly as you’ve just put them in the drawers. It’s a little bit depressing when you realise how quickly they’re growing. Sifting through clothes and the laundry loads takes up a lot more of my time than it used to; two children and I do three different [equestrian] disciplines so that’s three sets of clothes. There’s a lot going on in the washing room at my house.”