Princess Anne's son-in-law had an “unbelievable” seat — with a surprising view
The former England rugby captain, who is married to the King’s niece Zara Tindall, recently recapped the May 6 crowning ceremony on his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby, revealing that he couldn’t see much of what was going on.
“You're in the hottest spot, but it was all happening just around the corner of wall that you can’t see!” Mike, 44, said with a laugh. “You do have a front-row seat.”
Mike and Zara sat beside her brother Peter Phillips, and just one row behind Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The true front-row hot spots were reserved for Prince William, Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. While Princess Anne’s son-in-law was among the first few pews, he caught much of the coronation on TV screens mounted inside the ancient abbey.
“It was unbelievable to be sat where we were. Quite frustrating that you couldn’t see around the corner, but you had the TV there. And obviously everything that went on sort of back and front. It’s one of those moments,” he said of the privilege of witnessing history. “I think the best bit of the day was the six and half hours of military footmen that were in the Buckingham Palace backyard, and they did three cheers for the King — it was like whoa, goose pimples,” he added.
After the church service wrapped, Princess Anne, 72, had the honor of riding on horseback behind the King and Queen in the storybook Gold State Coach, leading the 6,000 armed services personnel to Buckingham Palace. Before coronation day, Zara exclusively told PEOPLE the tribute was reflective of the tight bond her mother and King Charles share.
"It's a busy time for them all, and her and her brother are very close, so it's a nice thing to do," said the professional equestrian, 41.
Princess Anne saddled up for her ceremonial role as “Gold-Stick-in-Waiting," a position dating back to the 15th century when two officers — a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick — were placed close to the monarch to protect them from harm.
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"I have a role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment as Gold Stick [in Waiting]. And Gold Stick was the original close protection officer. So that is a role I was asked if I'd like to do for this coronation, so I said yes," Princess Anne told CBC News of her special role before the big day. "Not least of all, it solves my dress problem," she joked.
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