real life

After Zara Tindall miscarried, the Queen offered a gesture she likely won't ever forget.

On the outside (or on Instagram), Christmas often looks like love, laughter, happiness and lots of ham.

But for those who’ve lost a loved one, it can be a painful reminder of the people sadly not able to sit around the table for Christmas lunch.

In December, 2016, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike found themselves grieving the loss of their unborn baby. A palace spokesperson announced the tragic news on Christmas Day.

Understandably, the couple didn’t feel up to greeting the public with the other royals at the annual Sandringham Christmas Day church service.

The same year also marked the first time in 28 years the Queen didn’t make to the Sandringham Christmas service.

Despite attending every year since the royal family began visiting Sandringham in 1988, the Daily Telegraph UK reported at the time, the palace released a statement saying both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip were unwell with colds and needed to stay indoors.

Speaking on his show House of Rugby, Mike spoke about how he and his wife, and his grandmother-in-law celebrated a slightly more sombre Christmas Day together that year.

“Two years ago, [the Queen] wasn’t feeling very well and so she didn’t go to church, and we’d obviously been what we’d been through with our pregnancy that we lost,” the 40-year-old former England rugby captain said.

“So we did our own little private [service] – just as a three.”

We imagine it would have been a much quieter, modest Christmas celebration than what the royals are used to, but at the same time, probably what they needed.

To see what the royals normally get up to every year for Christmas, check out the video below. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

The Queen’s granddaughter has previously spoken about losing her pregnancy in December 2016, a few weeks after she and her husband Mike Tindall had shared the news they were expecting.

The 37-year-old has also touched on a second miscarriage she experienced “really early on” before she fell pregnant with her second daughter Lena in late 2017.

Both losses were hard on Princess Anne’s daughter, but the first one she had to go through with the public’s knowledge. She also shared that because her pregnancy was “so far along” she had to deliver her baby through labour for her body’s sake.

“We had to tell everyone and it’s like, everyone knows — that’s the hardest bit,” she told the UK newspaper.

“That’s why I think a lot of people don’t talk about it because [a miscarriage] can happen early enough or it’s only your group of friends and your family that know.”

Although she didn’t want to talk about it at the time, the Tindalls have since been open about their miscarriages as it’s a topic that’s not often talked about.

“Because it’s so personal to each family and every case is different, you can never compare what’s happened or the feelings that people have gone through or the trauma,” she said.

“Every case is different, so I think it’s something that people don’t think you want to talk about.”

The couple have two daughters – four-year-old Mia and six-month-old Lena.

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You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.