Tindall says Queen gave approval for coffin to be transported in plane

Mike Tindall says Queen gave approval for her coffin to be transported in plane used to repatriate bodies of British soldiers with words: ‘If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for me’

  • Mike Tindall reflected on his relationship with the Queen in his latest podcast
  • He revealed he had been told a story by an ‘ex-army friend’ about the plane
  • Zara’s husband said the plane originally intended to carry her was too small   
  • Plane used to carry bodies of servicemen back from Afghanistan was suggested

Mike Tindall has claimed the Queen approved a plane that repatriated the bodies of British soldiers to transport her coffin with the words: ‘If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for me.’

The ex-England rugby ace, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, reflected on his relationship with the Queen in a special episode of his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby.

Talking about the Queen’s funeral arrangements, which she was consulted on before her death, Mike revealed he had been told a story by an ‘ex-army friend’ (although he could not verify it) about the plane that was due to fly Her Majesty’s coffin from Scotland back to London.

He said the plane that was originally intended to carry her was too small and instead officials had suggested a larger plane that had been used to carry the bodies of servicemen back from Afghanistan.

Recounting the story about the transport aircraft he added: ‘It wasn’t the original plane picked and they had to change it and they went for this big old plane to make it more dignified.’

Upon hearing this, the Queen reportedly wrote a note that said: ‘If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for me.’

Mike added: ‘It sort of sums her up that it was “her boys”.’

The coffin of the Queen was transferred from RAF C17 Globemaster to the Royal hearse after landing at RAF Northolt, west London

The ex-England rugby ace, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall (pictured), reflected on his relationship with the Queen in a special episode of his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby

Talking about the Queen’s funeral arrangements, which she was consulted on before her death, Mike revealed he had been told a story by an ‘ex-army friend’ (although he could not verify it) about the plane that was due to fly Her Majesty’s coffin from Scotland back to London

He said the plane that was originally intended to carry her was too small and instead officials had suggested a larger plane that had been used to carry the bodies of servicemen back from Afghanistan (Tindall pictured with the Queen in 2006)

The former sportsman, who has not served in the forces, also defended himself after facing criticism for wearing medals during events around the funeral and appealed to the public not to ‘shout’ at him on social media.

It appears the claims have been shared on social media after apparently being written by Pete Bond who says he was tasked, when a staff officer in 2009, with reviewing plans for the movement of the Queen’s coffin if she died overseas. 

The Queen’s coffin was flown from Edinburgh airport to RAF Northolt in West London on a RAF Globemaster C-17 aircraft, accompanied by the Princess Royal, ahead of her state funeral.

Mr Bond reportedly wrote a BAE 146 business jet was due to transport the Queen, but access to its freight bay was difficult and it was substituted for the larger C-17.

A senior RAF source said: ‘Extensive and comprehensive planning was conducted by the military for the demise of Her Majesty the Queen. The most appropriate assets were used throughout the operation.’

Tindall also spoke of how the Royal Family ‘came together overnight’ and revealed he is ‘full of regret’ for not asking the Queen more questions during his time with her.

He said: ‘It’s been sad, emotional but happy. In some ways amazing. To see the family come so close together overnight.

‘You never predict it. A 96-year-old lady, you know it’s going to happen but you’re never ready for when it does.

Upon hearing this, the Queen reportedly wrote a note that said: ‘If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for me.’ Mike added: ‘It sort of sums her up that it was “her boys”‘

Tindall also spoke of how the Royal Family ‘came together overnight’ and revealed he is ‘full of regret’ for not asking the Queen more questions during his time with her

‘Watching what Zara had to go through, obviously she loved the Queen beyond everything else. Their connection with horses, they had a real bond around that.

‘It’s like the world has lost its grandmother in some way.’ 

He continued: ‘I also have loads of regrets about not asking her so many more things… Having nervousness when you sit there get that lucky seat of being sat next to her.

‘Going back through history and everything she’s possibly seen; 15 prime ministers, I don’t know how many presidents. 

‘To go through everything when she’s meeting dictators she has to stay neutral she has to perform her duty.’ 

Later in the podcast, he said the Royal Family had been ‘blown away’ by tributes from members of the public.

‘You expect an outpouring of love but I think how it was, the world leaders that came in accepted their invitation without question. Immediately came back and said “yeah we’re coming”,’ he said, adding there was ‘no jostling for positions’ between the hugely important guests.

James Haskell (left) admitted he woke up with a ‘dull ache’ in the days following the Queen’s death and even shed tears over the news

As other podcast hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne admitted they had shed tears following the Queen’s death, James said he ‘woke up every single morning with… a dull ache internally’ that someone so remarkable had passed away.

He added: ‘For me she was the greatest role model and she was the best of us.’

Speaking about the Queen’s state funeral which was attended by some 2,000 world leaders, foreign royals and civilians, Mike admitted the family didn’t necessarily realise how big the televised event – watched by an estimated 4 billion people worldwide – was until he switched on the highlights later on.

He added it was ‘positive’ to be a part of the funeral because so many people showed unity in lining up to pay their respects to Her late Majesty.

Mike also praised the Queen’s strength in keeping some parts of herself private from the rest of the world – using the example of how Her late Majesty sat alone at the funeral of her beloved Prince Philip.

Mike Tindall officially became part of the Royal Family in 2011 (pictured on his wedding day to Zara) but he revealed he first met the Queen at school in 1992

He said: ‘Because of where the pandemic was at that time, she made the real statement to everyone else – unfortunately our government wasn’t watching – of how we needed to be.’

The ex-England star appeared to be referring to reports a party was held in 10 Downing Street the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Although Mike officially joined the Royal Family in 2011 when he married Zara, he revealed he had actually met the Queen 19 years earlier in 1992, when she came to visit his school, Queen Elizabeth Grammar, on its 400th anniversary.

‘I think I was in a science class and she came in… got the Bunsen burner on,’ he said. ‘I got to say hello to her then.’

As the Royal Family and the nation gets used to the new monarch, King Charles, Mike revealed old habits die hard.

‘I almost curtseyed to the King the other day,’ he said. ‘I was just following behind my wife, I saw her curtsey and fortunately didn’t… it was a lower bow.’

He added he ‘styled it out alright’ and hopefully got away with it.

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