Royal Wedding two: details revealed for Zara Phillips’ big day

Here comes the bride (and groom): Zara and Mike at Kate and William's wedding
Here comes the bride (and groom): Zara and Mike at Kate and William's wedding©Rex Features

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s big day was dubbed as wedding of the century, but Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall will no doubt give the Royals a run for their money when they make their trip up the aisle themselves this July.

After dating for seven years, the notoriously low-key couple, who live together in Gloucestershire, decided to take the plunge and make their union official.

Kate and Wills, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, married in a massive wedding for 1,900 at Westminster Abbey in London; but Princess Anne’s daughter and her long-term partner Mike have opted for a more intimate wedding day in picturesque Edinburgh.

Few concrete details have been released about the big day as yet, but a few interesting nuggets of information are available – and already Zara and Mike’s nuptials are shaping up to be a huge event in the society calendar.

The engagement
The couple got engaged in December 2010 after Mike popped the question to his long-term love, whom he met during England's Rugby World Cup winning campaign in Australia in 2003.

The pair started dating after Zara split with her former fiancé, National Hunt jockey Richard Johnson in 2003.

The Royal wedding announcement came not long after Prince William and his girlfriend of eight years, Kate Middleton, confirmed they were to marry on April 29 2011.

The magazine announcement
Zara shirked tradition when she announced her engagement in Country Life magazine, opting  to wear a £60 fleece and jeans rather than a demure twin set and pearls, or sophisticated dress, as Kate Middleton did for her official announcement.

The 30-year-old, who is often thought of as a breath of fresh air in the Royal family, also chose to pose next to her black Labrador, Storm for the sporty-looking spread.

The ring
Rugby union player Mike, who plays for Premiership side Gloucester and the England national team, presented Zara with a beautiful solitaire diamond ring set in platinum with diamond shoulders in December.

The sportsman is said to have put great thought into the ring, which he designed himself.

ROYAL KNEES-UP:

The guests
Many will be hoping to see newlyweds Kate and William at the summer wedding of Mike and Zara. A list of other Royals, including of course Zara’s mother Princess Anne and husband Timothy Laurence, should be in attendance including Zara’s grandmother the Queen and grandfather Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Zara's brother Peter and his wife Autumn.

The church
Zara and Mike have opted to get married in the beautiful Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh on Saturday July 30. Based in Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Kirk is where the Queen worships when in residence at Holyrood.

Founded in 1688 and completed in 1691, Canongate Kirk is also the parish church for the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Castle.

The reception
After marrying, the couple and their family and friends are expected to descend on the Palace of Holyroodhouse on the Royal Mile, the Queen's official home in Scotland, where they will party the night away.

The dress
What a Royal bride will wear on her big day is perhaps the most exciting and eagerly anticipated detail. Keen equestrian Zara is more often seen in casual sports gear than glamorous gowns, but she scrubs up well when the occasion calls for it and will no doubt look stunning on her big day.

So far it looks like Dublin-born designer Paul Costelloe will be the lucky person to make Zara’s wedding dress, after the Royal wore one of his pieces to Kate and William’s big day (pictured).

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