Inside Queen’s relationship with beloved granddaughter Zara Tindall who she ‘adores’

Inside Queen’s relationship with beloved granddaughter Zara Tindall who she ‘adores’

May 15, 2022

Zara Tindall's love of horses discusses by commentators

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Unlike many of the Queen’s grandchildren, Zara Tindall is not a high-profile or working member of the Royal Family, so she has always appeared to enjoy an informal relationship with the Queen. Zara has carved out her own very accomplished career in equestrianism – a passion she shares with the Queen – and the monarch has always seemed to beam with pride for her eldest granddaughter whenever she encounters her in public. In light of Zara’s 41st birthday today (May 15), spoke to body language expert Judi James to get her thoughts on the Queen and Zara’s body language over the years.

The Queen and Zara often cross paths at extended Royal Family events or horse racing fixtures, and according to the body language expert, Zara manages to win the Queen over with her famously “very relaxed” attitude.

Ms James explained: “It’s pretty clear from the Queen’s body language that she adores Zara and that, importantly, she feels super-comfortable in her presence.

“This shouldn’t be unusual for a grandmother and grandchild but Zara is something of a pioneer in the Royal Family in terms of her very relaxed and tactile body language in public, while the Queen is famous for being far more formal and hands-off.

“Zara’s body language looks spontaneous while the Queen’s is anything but. There is always some mutual compromising when they meet, with the Queen often the one being slightly more flexible but looking delighted to do so.”

At one of their earlier meetings at Buckingham Palace back in 2006, Ms James highlighted how Zara’s future husband Mike Tindall gave away with his facial expression just how much love Zara and the Queen share.

She said: “Mike’s wide grin says it all here really, as he watches signals of very open affection between the Queen and her granddaughter.

“It’s the Queen who can’t wait to hug Zara here, throwing her arms up in a truncated greeting gesture and smiling in what looks like delight.

“Zara returns the expressions of warmth by bending her torso while raising her chin for the cheek-kiss, with her arms held out to form a mutual embrace.”

On another occasion, this time at Ascot in 2012, Zara and the Queen looked deep in conversation as they immersed themselves in their favourite shared hobby.

Ms James added: “Zara manages to bend to speak to her grandmother here but her sideways angle of lean means she does it without compromising the Queen’s dignity.

“She also creates closeness between their heads as she does so, signalling mutual trust and bonding.

“The women mirror each other as they point and gaze, suggesting friendship as well as fondness.

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“Zara manages to signal the subtler gestures of respect here too, pulling her bag carefully to the front of her waist and keeping a spatial gap between their torsos.”

At a more recent outing to Ascot in 2019, Zara and the Queen’s playful friendship was once again on full display.

Ms James explained: “Zara is clearly keeping her aunt and grandmother entertained here, prompting an open-mouthed chuckle from Sophie while the Queen performs a very authentic-looking smile of amusement.

“The way her hands are crossed in front of her torso suggests she would be happy to stand there all day chatting and listening to Zara, who seems to bring out the rather naughty sense of humour that the Queen is known for.”

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