Mike Tindall praises late Queen as ‘wonderful woman’ at start of Rugby World Cup

Former England rugby star Mike Tindall turned from his excitement at the start of the Rugby World Cup to reflect on the loss of “wonderful woman” the late Queen.

Tindall, who is married to Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Zara, shared a time-lapse video on Instagram of the Queen through the ages, from her childhood to her later years, set to the sound of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.

He wrote: “Massive day in the sport I love but I can’t help but start the day thinking about this wonderful woman that we lost a year ago today #thequeen #rip”.”

Tindall became a member of the royal family 12 years ago after marrying Olympic horsewoman Zara – the daughter of the Princess Royal.

The seven-week Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday, coinciding with the first anniversary of Elizabeth II’s death, with France facing New Zealand in the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are travelling to France this weekend to watch England and Wales in their first group-stage matches.

Wales v England – Guinness Six Nations – Principality Stadium
William and Kate supporting different sides at a Six Nations Wales v England match (Joe Giddens/PA)

Kate, who is patron of the Rugby Football Union, will cheer on England v Argentina in Marseille on Saturday, while William, patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, will be there to see Wales compete against Fiji in Bordeaux on Sunday.

The Waleses’ overseas sporting excursion supporting two men’s sides early in the tournament comes after the prince was criticised for not attending the women’s England team’s World Cup football final against Spain in Sydney last month.