Princess Anne had the best response to daughter Zara’s teenage rebellion

The Princess Royal always has a witty remark ready

Princess Anne
(Image credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

When Zara Tindall got her tongue pierced at seventeen, her mother Princess Anne had the best response to her teenage rebellion. 

Zara Tindall may now make headlines for being a ‘great mother’ and opening up about balancing work with family life or for the ‘sweet and uncomplicated’ relationship she shares with her uncle King Charles III, but she was in the news for more 'rebellious' reasons when she was a teenager. 

Before she met Mike Tindall and everyone fell in love with his ‘great’ and ‘chilled’ relationship with his mother-in-law Princess Anne, Zara made headlines when she became the first member of The Firm to debut a tongue piercing at just 17-years-old.

In true rebellious style, HELLO! Magazine reports that Zara got the piercing at a tattoo parlour close to her boarding school, Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland. She broke the news to her mum, Princess Anne, when she turned up to King Charles' 50th birthday party back in 1998 but she may have been disappointed, or relieved, at her 'unfazed' response.

Zara Tindall's son Lucas

(Image credit: Getty)

Reminiscing on her mum's reaction to the teenage rebellion, Zara told Tatler Magazine that Anne was seemingly 'unfazed' by her piercing and simply asked her if she was 'able to speak properly with the invasive accessory.'

The royal shared that she hadn't told anyone she was getting her tongue pierced and turned up to the then-Prince Charles 50th birthday party sporting a silver stud that caught a lot of attention. 

The piercing was not only a first but also a last within the Royal Family as Zara's experimentation with her style has never been replicated by another member of The Firm. Noting her tradition-breaking, Zara added, "At least I didn't have it coming out of my nose, or anything."

But while Zara and Anne may have been relaxed about the addition to her mouth, former royal butler, Grant Harrold, told The Express that it certainly caught his attention. He shared, “She was the very first royal I met. In Scotland I was working and it was the weekend. It was all in the press that she had her tongue pierced and it was so exciting because when she was speaking to us, I suddenly saw the tongue piercing and I was like ‘Oh, I’ve seen it’.

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Getty)

"She’s always done it her way and done her thing. You see her in the local towns with her kids doing the shopping, she doesn’t have bodyguards or anything she really is just like us so why not go into it?"

The piercing may even have pleased Anne, according to the former butler who believes that the 'naughty' behaviour and personal expression would be exactly what Anne would have wanted for her children. 

He told The Express, "She’s down to earth, she’s fun, she’s naughty. The deal that was done back in the day was Anne didn’t want her children to have titles so they could have normal lives and do normal things, that’s what she wanted.

"They are senior members of the family but they can do what they want, they’ve got their own lives but they are still members of the Royal Family and I’m sure some of the things they do gets run past other people."

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.