“She’s all I’ve wanted in a wo­man”

Ahead of their wed­ding this month, The Bach­e­lor’s Tim Ro­bards and Anna Hein­rich talk to Stel­lar about the happy end­ing to their re­al­ity-tele­vi­sion ro­mance.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy DAMIAN BEN­NETT Styling KELLY HUME In­ter­view ADRIENNE TAM

Tim Ro­bards planned to ask Anna Hein­rich to marry him at El Que­stro sta­tion, deep in the Kim­ber­ley. The bustling sta­tion didn’t al­low them much pri­vacy, so as soon as they checked in, Ro­bards sug­gested they take a dinghy out on the croc­o­dile-in­fested Cham­ber­lain Gorge. He wore a col­lared shirt over board shorts and car­ried a bag, in which he had packed two things: an en­gage­ment ring and a drone.

Hein­rich was re­luc­tant. “It was prob­a­bly an hour be­fore lunch, and Tim’s like, ‘Oh, let’s go out on the dinghy.’ And I was like, ‘Oh… should we?’” She soon found her­self float­ing down the gorge on a 40°C day, watch­ing with cu­rios­ity as her oddly dressed boyfriend launched a drone from the tiny boat.

One thing struck her as strange. “He never wears a shirt, so I was like, ‘Tim, why do you have a shirt on still?’” He stripped it off but, for his part, Ro­bards was still qui­etly freak­ing out. “My heart’s thump­ing,” he re­calls for Stel­lar. “And I’m try­ing not to crash my drone and I’m also about to pro­pose. And I say, ‘You know what would be good right now? A bloody cold beer.’ And then I say, ‘What would make it bet­ter for you?’ And she goes, ‘I don’t know, a cold washer?’ So I say… ‘What if I pro­fessed my love for you and said ev­ery mo­ment in the last what­ever years has been amaz­ing?’

“I was al­ready on my knees. I reached in my pocket, and I had a lit­tle box, and she just started bawl­ing.”

Fit­tingly for a cou­ple whose ro­mance be­gan on tele­vi­sion, Ro­bards’s drone cap­tured the en­tire pro­posal from above. “The whole record­ing and the sound,” Hein­rich says. “Not many peo­ple have seen it. I haven’t, even.”

Back in 2013, Tim Ro­bards was the first lead­ing man on The Bach­e­lor Aus­tralia. He was the first to wel­come 25 daz­zling young women as they ar­rived to vie for his hand, and the first to whit­tle his choices down to two con­tes­tants be­fore break­ing the heart of one and ful­fill­ing

“I had a gen­uine be­lief I could find some­body”

the dreams of the other. His love story with Hein­rich, a crim­i­nal lawyer who still lived at home and had never had a boyfriend, won the na­tion’s heart.

And this month he will also be­come the first Aus­tralian Bach­e­lor to wed, when he and Hein­rich walk down the aisle. While their ro­mance be­gan on film, blos­somed in front of pa­parazzi and cul­mi­nated in a pro­posal on cam­era, they have some­how kept their re­la­tion­ship real. This is a cou­ple in love; they tease each other, fin­ish each other’s sen­tences, and, even af­ter five years, gaze ador­ingly at one an­other. “You do ev­ery­thing from a good place, from a good heart, from a place that is not about ego,” Ro­bards tells his wife-to-be, as Stel­lar looks on. “That’s what makes you an in­tel­li­gent and beau­ti­ful per­son.”

Ro­bards trusts the uni­verse, and it seemed in­tent on in­tro­duc­ing him to Hein­rich. Be­fore he agreed to be­come The Bach­e­lor, Ro­bards says he felt he was see­ing signs ev­ery­where. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to [be The Bach­e­lor],’ and my mum ac­tu­ally said – my mum reck­ons she’s a bit psy­chic – she said, ‘Tim, I re­ally feel like this is not just some­thing you will do that will pass over. I feel like you’ll meet some­one you’re go­ing to end up with.’”

That per­son was mid­way through the queue of 25 care­fully coiffed women lin­ing up to meet him when the se­ries de­buted in Septem­ber 2013. Ro­bards, a fit­ness fa­natic, laughs as he re­mem­bers their first en­counter. “[Anna] had this very raspy voice and I thought she sounded like a smoker. I thought, ‘Hmmm… this one might be doomed as well.’ Just when you think you get ahead and get a nice one, she’s a smoker!” Hap­pily, he was wrong.

Be­sides her beauty, he was charmed by Hein­rich’s hu­mil­ity. “She could laugh at her­self. She was quite ner­vous com­pared to some girls who were so con­fi­dent. She seemed so down to earth.” Hein­rich hides her face in her hands as she hears this. “This is so awk­ward,” she says.

Hein­rich wasn’t on The Bach­e­lor sim­ply to up her In­sta­gram fol­lower count. Like Ro­bards, she wanted to meet some­one. “I had a gen­uine be­lief I could find some­body, so I think ev­ery­thing was aligned,” she says. “I never like to put the show down be­cause we’re so thank­ful, but I feel the in­ten­tions with the show now are slightly dif­fer­ent. For us, it was re­ally right, and be­cause it was so new and fresh, they re­ally wanted a cou­ple to find each other. I wouldn’t go on [the show] to­day.”

Hein­rich was 26 at the time, had never been in a re­la­tion­ship and lived at home. Her mother did her cook­ing and clean­ing. Hein­rich would move in with Ro­bards six months af­ter The Bach­e­lor fin­ished; it was not an easy ad­just­ment. “I had to train her up a bit,” Ro­bards says. “She was used to com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her sis­ters and her girl­friends but had never [been] in a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship, so that’s been great. She has learnt to com­mu­ni­cate.”

Hein­rich says liv­ing to­gether gets bet­ter ev­ery day. “Mov­ing in, I had to learn Tim’s ways and what he liked, and also what I like. Tim’s a re­ally great com­mu­ni­ca­tor, so if there were any is­sues that we had, we would al­ways talk it out. We’ve both got strong opin­ions and we like them to be heard, but the best thing for us is over­com­ing that.”

Fame may not have lured them onto the set of The Bach­e­lor, but they have found it nonethe­less. The down­sides in­clude in­tru­sive pa­parazzi, gos­sip, and nasty head­lines. “You can be some­where and you’re talk­ing about your work, and you might be pulling a bit of a foul face,” Ro­bards, 35, says. “Next minute, it’s ‘Tim and Anna are break­ing up!’”

But they have also en­joyed the ben­e­fits of their high pro­file, as ev­i­denced by their In­sta­gram ac­counts full of glam­orous frocks, fancy par­ties and ex­otic lo­ca­tions. They have lu­cra­tive en­dorse­ments – be­tween them they are am­bas­sadors for brands in­clud­ing Oral-b, Pan­tene

and In­fi­nite Cy­cle – and Ro­bards, a chi­ro­prac­tor, has flagged a de­sire to act. “I don’t go, ‘Oh, I wish we didn’t have any pub­lic and we just could move into our own lit­tle shell and be our­selves.’ I don’t want that at all,” he says.

“We pull each other into line,” he con­tin­ues. “Like… as much as you want, you should not do the cover of Play­boy.” Hein­rich swats at Ro­bards, scold­ing him for his teas­ing. “Tim! Don’t say that.”

Their meet­ing may have been un­con­ven­tional, but Ro­bards wanted some tra­di­tions to be fol­lowed when he pro­posed in May last year. While on a sail­boat with Hein­rich’s fa­ther Les, a week be­fore he would pro­pose, Ro­bards tried to ask his per­mis­sion to marry his daugh­ter.

“I meant to say some­thing like, ‘Les, look, I think it’s about time I broke the Hein­rich curse,’ as he’s got three daugh­ters and none of them are en­gaged yet – but they’d all been in re­la­tion­ships,” Ro­bards says. “And when I went to say it, I was like, ‘Uh, Les, there’s a curse, and, um, I want to break it.’ I was so tongue-twisted.” Les saw past the nerves and gave his bless­ing.

Their up­com­ing wed­ding in Italy has been shrouded in se­crecy; they’re de­ter­mined this part of lives, at least, will re­main pri­vate. “We’re happy to share it later on, down the track, when we’re ready,” Hein­rich says. “We made a de­ci­sion to put out some of our first pho­tos on so­cial me­dia. For the day it­self, we just want to keep it be­tween us and our fam­ily and friends be­cause it’s a very im­por­tant day for both of us.”

A fam­ily is likely to fol­low. They’d like two chil­dren, and have al­ready tossed up one name, Rocky Ro­bards. “[Hav­ing kids] won’t be straight af­ter the wed­ding,” Hein­rich says. “I know Tim’s think­ing more next year. I’d love to spend more time with Tim, trav­el­ling more. We are so ex­cited to have kids, but we also love our time to­gether. So I think maybe within a year or two, af­ter the wed­ding.”

Ro­bards doesn’t want to leave it too long. “I can’t be an old man be­fore I have kids. I need a lit­tle boy to fol­low… Tim the Sec­ond, does that work? Timmy Ju­nior?”

There’s one de­tail they have yet to dis­cuss: whether Anna will re­main a Hein­rich, or if she will take her groom’s sur­name. “Uh, I think so, it’s not con­firmed,” she ad­mits. Ro­bards looks aghast. “You think so?” The mat­ter is quickly de­cided. “OK, yes, yes I will! Yes I will,” she says, nudg­ing him. “Anna Ro­bards. I think it has a nice ring to it.”

As far as these two are con­cerned, fate was at work on the 2013 de­but sea­son of The Bach­e­lor. “I’m a big be­liever of when you put some­thing out into the uni­verse, it will gen­er­ally come back,” Ro­bards says. “I did a lot of work on my­self, my val­ues and what I wanted out of life be­fore I went on the show. I would sit there and write down 50 things I wanted out of the ideal wo­man. And pretty much all of those things came true.” He grins. “Ex­cept I wrote brunette.”

Hein­rich laughs. “It’s true! I saw that list. But 49 out of 50 – that’s not bad! I think I de­serve a high five.”

She gets her high five.

“I can’t be an old man be­fore I have kids”

ANNA WEARS Zara jacket and pants, zara.com/au; Matin top, matin­stu­dio. com; Uniqlo socks, uniqlo.com/au; Stu­art Weitz­man shoes, david­jones.com; her own ring (worn through­out) TIM WEARS Hugo Boss coat, hugo boss.com/au; Ben Sher­man jacket, david­jones.com; Zara sweater,as be­fore; Lacoste pants, lacoste.com.au; R.M. Wil­liams boots, rmwilliams.com.au; his own watch (worn through­out)

ANNA WEARS Lacoste jumper, as be­fore; Lee Mathews top, lee mathews.com.au; White Story skirt, whitestory. com.au; Uniqlo socks, as be­fore; R.M. Wil­liams boots, as be­fore TIM WEARS Jac + Jack jacket, ja­can­d­jack.com; Ven­roy blazer, ven­roy. com.au; Zara jumper, as be­fore; Levi’s jeans, levis.com.au; R.M. Wil­liams boots, as be­fore

RE­AL­ITY CHECK (be­low from left) The mo­ment Tim Ro­bards and Anna Hein­rich first met on the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of The Bach­e­lor Aus­tralia in 2013; the cou­ple on a dinghy in the Kim­ber­ley where they got en­gaged last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.