Prince Harry and Zara Tindall’s fading relationship – deep childhood bond to frosty ‘barrier’

By Staff

Prince Harry was once incredibly close with his first cousin Zara Tindall. But she, along with other members of the royal family, didn’t see the Duke when he returned to London last week

Prince Harry cut a lonely figure when he arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate 10 years of the Invictus Games last week. There were no members of the royal family in attendance, including Zara Tindall, with whom he was once very close.

With just three years between them, the cousins spent a great deal of time together growing up, along with their older siblings Peter Phillips and Prince William. And they were a tight group.

Over the years, Harry and Zara’s friendship became increasingly apparent with the pair often seen laughing and joking around together. And on top of that, rugby fan Harry became good friends with Zara’s future husband Mike Tindall, former captain of the England rugby team.

But by the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, the relationship between tactile Zara and Harry seemed to have changed. Harry attended the celebrations with his wife Meghan Markle, and while Zara was seen speaking to the Prince she appeared to be much cooler towards him.

By this time, the royal family had been rocked and upset by allegations made by the Sussexes in their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. And the tension on the day was clear to eagled-eyed experts.

Zara did stop to speak to Harry on the steps of Westminster Abbey – noticeably her husband Mike stayed away from the couple. But body language expert Judi James told the Express at the time: “While Harry and Meghan stand locked together as a duo here though, holding hands and performing some rather forced smiles, with Meghan standing slightly behind Harry’s right arm as though in need of some form of protection, Zara’s body language lacks her normal displays of tactile warmth.

“Facing front rather than turning in to encourage communication, her arms are held firmly at the sides of her ribs, with the left hand clamped to the right wrist in the clasp in a barrier ritual that would imply there was no offer of PDAs or touch beyond the politest.”

Since then Harry and Meghan’s distance from the royal family has grown further as the Sussexes continue their life in the US.

Ahead of Harry’s Invictus event, speculation swirled on whether any senior royals would attend. None turned up, but Princess Diana’s family showed in full force.

However, Zara did have prior commitments on the day itself. As Harry arrived at St Paul’s, she was busy competing at the Badminton Horse Trials, miles away in south Gloucestershire with her horse Class Affair.

The trials lasted all week with Zara cheered on by her husband and their three children, Mia, Lena and Lucas.

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