December 21, 2010 / 12:09 PM / 8 years ago

Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara to wed rugby player

Britain's Zara Phillips watches the race on a screen in the unsaddling enclosure at The Cheltenham Festival horse racing meet in Gloucestershire, western England March 18, 2010. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, is to marry England rugby player Mike Tindall, the royal family said Tuesday.

No date was given for the wedding of 29-year-old Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne and her first husband Mark Phillips.

The announcement comes a month after Prince William, the elder son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, said he would marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton in April.

Phillips was considered something of a “royal rebel” when she was younger, having her tongue pierced as a teen-ager.

However she went on to follow in her mother’s footsteps enjoying a successful horse riding career. In 2006, she won an individual gold on her horse Toytown at the World Equestrian Games in Germany, helped Britain win a team silver and was voted BBC sports personality of the year.

“I was really shocked when Mike proposed but I am very happy,” she said in a statement.

Tindall is also a well-known sportsman. The 32-year-old has played more than 60 times for England and was part of the England team which beat Australia to win rugby union’s World Cup in 2003.

“I am delighted that Zara has agreed to marry me. We are both very excited about the next stage of our lives together,” he said.

Princess Anne rode in the 1976 Olympics and was European Champion in 1971, while Mark Phillips won an Olympic team gold in eventing in 1972. They divorced in 1992.

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato

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