Four breaks and 45 degrees later, the former rugby player is ready

By Diana Pearl
Updated August 13, 2015 03:30 PM
Credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty

Mike Tindall admits that when he and Zara are out in public – most recently at the Artemis Challenge, a charity sailing race on England’s Isle of Wight – it’s not his wife’s royally recognizable face that gets the couple noticed.

Instead, it’s Tindall’s unique nose, which has been twisted after multiple breaks throughout his childhood and career on the rugby field, that draws attention to the couple.

Now, after years of struggling to breathe properly, the former rugby player has admitted it’s time to have corrective surgery, even though he’d prefer not to.

I don’t really want to get it fixed, but it looks like I might have to because I can t actually breathe very well,” Tindall told the Daily Mirror. “I guess it s something similar to a pug.”

Nasal injuries are nothing new for the former rugby World Cup winner, 36: He first broke his nose at just age 5 and suffered three more breaks later on during his rugby career. Now, his nose sits at a 45-degree angle, and both of his nostrils are collapsed, meaning he can only breathe out of his mouth.

On a visit to the set of British sports show A League of Their Own before his nuptials, Tindall admitted that his mother-in-law, Princess Anne, had requested he get his nose straightened out before his and Zara’s wedding day four years ago.

He’s long been wary of going under the knife due to a past corrective nasal surgery earlier in his rugby career. Now, Tindall, who retired from playing rugby professionally last year, has found a new career in television, with appearances on reality shows such as The Jump and Bear Grylls: Mission Survive.

One his concerns about undergoing the surgery comes down to what people will think of him for doing so – and he insists it’s strictly for medical reasons.

“The problem is that if I get it done, will people say I’ve had it just because I’m doing TV stuff now?” he told the Mirror. “Because it’s definitely not.”

Before Tindall goes under the knife, he’s enjoying time with his family. On Thursday, the couple kept busy at the Artemis Challenge. The two cuddled in their sailing gear on the deck of the team’s Ocean Racing boat and participated in the challenge themselves, alongside a number of other former rugby players.

It’s been a busy week for Zara, 34, who spent the weekend at the Festival of British Eventing with the couple’s only child, Mia, 18 months. Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.