Laura Green, a British couturier who has worked with Kate Middleton, says that working with Zara Tindall was "a joy"


Zara Phillips
Zara Tindall at Cheltenham Festival in March,2020
| Credit: Shutterstock

When it comes to dressing for the races, Zara Tindall is a pro.

For the Cheltenham Festival in March, the royal equestrian turned to British designer Laura Green for an elegant, made-to-measure look.

“I was thrilled to be asked to make something so special and being part of history is something that you never get used to,” Green tells PEOPLE of her exciting royal commission, adding: “There really is something very special about Zara, which sets her apart — she’s a natural beauty for sure!”

Wearing a bespoke black-and-white tailored houndstooth coat, based on the label’s Josephine style (an off-the-rack version will set you back $3,625), over the Georgetta satin shirt dress in gunmetal grey, the look was a joint collaboration between Zara’s stylist and the designer, taking several weeks to make.

“Zara was clear in the look that she wanted to achieve which was lovely — she’s very confident in her style," reveals Green. Over the course of five fittings, they decided to accentuate the collar and add a belt for the famous racing event.

"We wanted to make it a bit bolder and the double collar really framed her face," she adds.

zara Philips style sketch
Laura Green's design sketch for Zara's bespoke coat
| Credit: Laura Green

The four-day event was one of the last attended by the royal family before the coronavirus lockdown in the U.K. Considered a highlight in the British racing calendar, Zara, an avid horse lover who has a silver medal in Eventing from the 2012 London Olympics, attended with her husband Mike Tindall and her mother Princess Anne in her role as Cheltenham Racecourse director.

Zara Phillips
Zara Tindall at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2020 wearing Laura Green
| Credit: David Hartley/Shutterstock

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

In addition to her bespoke work, Green, who used to work at Vogue, designs two collections a year for her eponymous label. Having previously worked for Catherine Walker & Co. (one of Kate Middleton’s go-to labels) for over 10 years prior to setting up her own line in 2018, Green is an expert when it comes to royal protocol. “There are certain elements you have to think about, like making sure the fabric doesn’t crease, the temperature of the weather – it needs to make them feel their best.”

With the coat alone taking over 120 days to make, it was a long process from start to finish, but Zara, who is known for her casual day-to-day look, couldn't have been easier to work with.

“She was a joy and very down to earth, I think that comes across even in pictures, as she’s always so smiley,” says Green, who runs a small atelier in East London. “She loves clean lines, she styles things really beautifully, she’s not a trendsetter and she’s not trying to be a fashion icon, she’s just really polished and beautifully dressed."