‘Devoted’ Mike Tindall is ‘aware of what he can and cannot say’ about the royals on I'm A Celeb

The former rugby star and husband of Zara Tindall won’t be stepping out of line in the jungle, according to a royal expert.

Mike Tindall on I'm A Celebrity split screen with royal image of Mike and Zara Tindall and Prince Charles
(Image credit: ITV / getty)

Mike Tindall is 'aware of what he can and cannot say' about the royals, a royal expert claims ahead of his I'm a Celebrity stint starting this weekend.

Mike Tindall is preparing to enter the I'm a Celebrity camp and fans will be hoping that the royal will spill some gossip about his famous royal family - but while the royals ‘raised no objections’ over his appearance, as King Charles was ‘informed throughout the process’, it's understood that Mike will remain tight lipped about some things, a royal expert has claimed.

Speaking on behalf of Slingo, royal expert Charles Rae has told goodto.com exclusively about the 'fine line' the former rugby star won't cross in the jungle, “I expect Mike will be well aware of what he can say and cannot say whilst on the show. He is shrewd, so I wouldn't expect he would reveal any family secrets. However, that does not mean that some people will not want to cause mischief and quiz him on the royals, particularly Harry and Meghan."

Mike, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, is the first member of the royal family ever to take part in the ITV show, which is returning to Australia for the first time since the pandemic. 

Charles Rae continued, "Mike has appeared on various programmes in the past and he has managed to keep quiet about family matters. His royal family topics, if there are any, will be mainly about things the general public know. I suspect Matt Hancock is likely to have a much tougher time!

"The royal family has coped with all sorts of things the past few years, so I’m sure they will cope in the unlikely event Mike speaks out of turn. I am sure he will have discussed matters, particularly with Zara and also senior palace aides.”

But the royal expert warned of the 'fine line' he faces. “Royals have not always fared well on television shows, who can forget the disaster of It’s A Royal Knockout in 1987? It starred Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York and Princess Anne. It was highly embarrassing and they were heavily criticised - particularly Edward, Fergie and Andrew. Mike will be aware that there is a fine line between hero and zero in taking part in a reality show. However, as I say they were further up the royal food chain than Mike and were all working royals,” Charles Rae added.

The royal expert has also lifted the lid on Mike’s relationship with the royal family, he explained, "Mike and Zara are popular within the royal family, with close ties to William and Catherine. They often spend time together and have children of similar ages, so it is all happy families. They are also close to Harry and Meghan, but of course don’t see them as often. Zara is also a favourite of King Charles, which means he has a lot of time for Mike as well."

But does he think King Charles will be tuning in? Charles said, “Zara will clearly be glued to the screen, but I also suspect his mother in law, Princess Anne, will be tuning in as well. William and Catherine, who are close to the Tindalls, will want to see how he gets on. I expect the King and Queen will be getting progress reports and might just occasionally tune in.”

Commenting on how the royal family may have reacted to the news, Charles Rae said, "Mike will certainly have run his appearance with the royal family. He will have discussed it with  Zara and Princess Anne, as well as aides to the King. Charles is obviously Mike’s uncle through marriage, so I can only imagine he will have been informed throughout the process. The very fact he is appearing clearly means that none of the family have raised objections. 

“We also have to remember that Mike and Zara are not working royals and therefore do not get anything from the Sovereign House Grant. The couple rely on their sponsorship work and their links to sport.”

He also noted how ‘devoted’ Mike will cope being away from wife Zara and their three kids. “I think Mike will cope very well in the jungle," said Charles. "Let’s not forget that he is a rufty tufty rugby player, who is very strong and determined, both mentally and physically. I would be surprised if he did not last well towards the end. We have seen how devoted he is to Zara and their three children and while I’m sure being away from them all will be a wrench, I also believe he will cope.

He added, “Mike and Zara are a well suited couple. They appear to be very happy with each other and also their positions in the royal family. While they aren’t working royals, they still join in on major events as we have seen. I am pretty sure they are happy that they do not have the same pressures that affect other members who are further up the pole. Anne wanted Zara and her brother Peter to face as normal a life as possible, which has worked. Mike is a celebrity outside the royal family and clearly copes well.”

Mia Tindall with Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall attend a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on March 29, 2022 in London

(Image credit: Getty)

Tune in to I'm A Celebrity on ITV at 9pm on Sunday, 6th November to see how Mike gets on.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)