Why Zara Tindall waited until years after her wedding before changing her surname

And it makes total sense

Zara Phillips of Great Britain and her horse High Kingdom compete in Individual Eventing on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 29, 2012 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Alex Livesey / Getty)

Princess Anne's daughter was born Zara Phillips, inheriting her father Captain Mark Phillips' surname.

As she grew up, Zara developed a love of horses just like both of her parents, eventually becoming a professional equestrian.

As a sportswoman, she was known by her maiden name, so when she married Mike Tindall in 2011, she actually decided not to take his surname straight away, as reported by Hello!. This was so that she could continue to compete under the name she had come to be known by, which is a completely understandable decision.

Of course, many women opt to not take their spouse's surname, while others opt for a double-barrelled option or reverse traditional gender roles — with a man taking a woman's surname instead.

One reason it's quite noteworthy that Zara didn't take her husband's last name at first is that the Royal Family tends to be quite a traditional institution in general. With that in mind, many women who are born into the family are born with their own titles (e.g. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York) or are given them upon their marriage (e.g. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon). But because Zara did not receive a royal title at birth and is not a working royal, it would have likely been expected that she take her husband's name.

Anyway, all that to say that in the end, she became Zara Tindall in 2016, after she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics that took place that year. The royal athlete had previously competed in the London 2012 Olympics, bringing home a silver medal.

Princess Anne, as for her, competed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, while Captain Phillips "won a team gold medal at the 1972 Olympics and a team silver medal in 1988," according to Team GB's official website. Such an athletic family, honestly.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.