Just as Mike Tindall thought he had time to get his version of events concerning his frolics with a bar blonde ready for his feisty wife, Zara Phillips, we hear she has already arrived in New Zealand. And what a showdown that could be!
Zara once had a name as a street-fighting woman; she had a furious fall-out with her previous boyfriend, jockey Richard Johnson, in which witnesses claimed the pair punched and kicked each other.
But all seemed well with rugby player Mike - until now. As it happens, I know some near neighbours of the Tindalls in the upmarket Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham. And sorry to tell you, I have no reports of rowdy parties or indeed any kind of misbehaviour! The Queen's granddaughter Zara just lives the well-heeled life of a real housewife of Cheltenham.
The town is famous for its prestigious private schools - Cheltenham Ladies College and Cheltenham College. Prince Harry’s on/off girlfriend Chelsy Davy was a student there for a while.
Mike and Zara bought a white-painted, Grade II listed, ten-bedroom Georgian mansion for £800,000, it is rumoured, from a legacy left by her great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002. Mike and Zara set about creating their ideal home, spending a reputed £200,000, ripping out old fittings and installing a gym for the sporty couple to use.
Four workmen were seen carrying in a huge £6000 two-person bath, the size and weight of a Roman sarcophagus. With the interior alterations complete, the couple settled down to a life of suburban domesticity.
Mike has been seen coming out of Cook, an upmarket takeaway on the Bath Road in Cheltenham, with portions of gourmet food to heat up. The pair occasionally enjoy a quiet coffee at Moka Café in the town centre. Zara likes to go for walks, undisturbed by locals who leave her alone.
Equestrienne Zara is sponsored by car firm Land Rover; she is an ‘ambassador’ for the company and neighbours say there’s always a new-looking vehicle in her drive. Earlier this month, Zara was the first person to take delivery of a new Range Rover Evoque.
Zara has two favourite words: ‘amazing’, which she uses frequently, and ‘Musto’, the name of her clothing label, which she also mentions in interviews, very frequently.
Although the Palace banned her from making a lucrative wedding deal with a celebrity magazine, Zara has often been interviewed in the UK press — always in neatly arranged ‘feel-good’ settings and often promoting her sponsorships.
It is whispered that these magazine deals have helped to pay for the improvements in her Cheltenham home and also towards the luxury £600,000 four-bedroom villa she and Mike are having built in sunny Portugal at the CampoReal Golf Resort and Spa.
So, not only is Mike’s two-month marriage at stake, there’s also the lovely lifestyle he and Zara share in Cheltenham and the future they planned at their place in the sun.Good luck, Mike; you’ll need it!