She was billed as something of a wild child when pictures emerged of her with a tongue piercing After finishing her exams, Zara decided to take a year out, spending three months of it in Australia and New Zealand.Photos of her bungee-jumping and enjoying the nightlife further established her reputation as a 'royal rebel' When it comes to her love life, Zara's first public romance was with fellow backpacker Angus Murray, whom she met while travelling.As well as Mike, a big supporter of her equestrian endeavours, the popular royal has been guided by her father, Captain Mark Phillips - an Olympic gold-medal-winning horseman with whom she is very close And then, of course, there is her mother, Princess Anne, who won one gold and two silver medals at the European Eventing Championships.
"The baby made a rather sudden and positive arrival," her mother later recalled, "and my brother thought Zara (a Greek name meaning 'bright as the dawn') was an appropriate name Zara's parents were keen to raise her and her brother Peter as grounded individuals, despite their royal status.
Auguring well for the relationship, he was already friends with rugby-loving Princes William and Harry Mike has been welcomed into the royal family with open arms.
His future mother-in-law is said to be "hugely fond" of the strapping sportsman, who at one time shared a cottage with Zara on Anne's Gatcombe estate There is no doubt that Zara's personal relationships have helped shape her professionally.
Having achieved so much in the sporting sphere, Zara has one big dream left - to win gold at the Olympics.
He ended up following her back to Britain but the love affair soon faded Her next boyfriend was British jockey Richard Johnson.
They had a stormy relationship that frequently attracted the attention of the media and when the couple split in November 2003, it was front page news Then, in November 2003, she met the love of her life, England rugby star Mike Tindall at the Rugby World Cup.