Our Royal Olympian is back in the sad­dle

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Front Page -

At least eight peo­ple – as­sis­tants, pho­tog­ra­phers and PRs – are clus­tered to­gether in Zara Phillips’s sunny sta­ble yard in Gat­combe Park, Glouces­ter­shire, watch­ing one man ma­noeu­vre a muddy black Land Rover. He re­verses it over the same spot of gravel four times un­til all agree that the car (which, in ac­cor­dance with Zara’s role as brand am­bas­sador must ap­pear in pho­tos with her) is deemed to be po­si­tioned at an ac­cept­able an­gle for pic­tures.

The el­e­ment of farce steps up a lit­tle when Zara her­self ar­rives with her dogs, look­ing ca­sual in jeans, train­ers, a zipped-up fleece and a cap she wants to keep on be­cause her hair isn’t clean.

“I’d have washed the car if I’d known,” she says, only to be met with a cho­rus of protests – no, Land Rover’s peo­ple say, they want the car to be dirty be­cause the ef­fect is more real. Zara looks as be­mused as the rest of us but says no more.

Ev­i­dently she has long stopped try­ing to un­der­stand the logic be­hind pub­lic­ity an­tics of this kind. In­deed, although Zara, who mar­ried the re­cently re­tired rugby player Mike Tin­dall in 2011, is re­laxed and pro­fes­sional in front of the cam­eras and po­lite and friendly to all, there are el­e­ments of her mother Princess Anne’s im­pa­tience in the oc­ca­sional eye roll she gives as she’s prod­ded through the day’s sched­ule. No doubt she’d rather be get­ting on with her day job.

Be­fore my in­ter­view, I am warned that Zara will likely avoid ques­tions about her seven-month-old daugh­ter Mia, pre­fer­ring to dis­cuss her horses and re­turn to her event­ing ca­reer in­stead.

This seems fair enough. The Queen’s grand­daugh­ter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.