The former England rugby star, who is married to the Princess Royal’s daughter Zara Tindall, perplexed some viewers on Monday (19 September) when he donned the medals, as many believed they implied he’d served in the military.
Tindall, 43, addressed the comments on the latest episode of his podcast The Good, The Bad and The Rugby, which he hosts with James Haskell and Alex Payne.
Haskell jokingly asked his fellow presenter during the episode: “How many years did you serve in Afghanistan?”
Tindall responded: “It has been an interesting one, we’ve had this discussion on the fact that I hate wearing them anyway.
“I think you would be the same because you class medals as a military honour. Any serviceman, I am deeply appreciative of your service and I have not served anywhere and actually haven’t done anything to achieve those medals apart from being in the family.”
Explaining his medals, he continued: “So the jubilee medals, obviously I got married in 2011, so 2012 was [the Queen’s] diamond jubilee and you get a medal if you’re part of the family.
“The people who work in her household get a medal, and if you’ve been serving in the armed forces for five years and you’re actively in service, you get one too.
“So it’s harder for [people in the] military to actually get a jubilee medal unless they served for a long time.
“There’s been a lot more as you get a lot more celebrations later in life, so 50, 60, 70, that’s where I got one, and the other one was my MBE.”
Tindall was awarded the MBE in 2007 in recognition for his achievements and overall contribution to rugby.
🏅Tinds is here to clear up exactly why he was wearing medals at The Queen's funeral and what they mean.
Watch the full HM The Queen: GBR’s Reflection episode here: https://t.co/t4DVwTCHxQ pic.twitter.com/YrsxQRufNB
— The Good, The Bad & The Rugby (@GoodBadRugby) September 28, 2022
He was known for being one of the most consistent top-level performers of his generation.
During the late monarch’s funeral ceremony, some viewers questioned why he wore the medals while others defended him as the medals were not related to military service.
Addressing the backlash, Tindall added: “I can’t control it, you get a uniform list and it says the dress code is strict, you wear a mourning suit unless you’re military.”
The Queen’s state funeral was attended by many members of the royal family, including King Charles III and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
About 2,000 mourners gathered in Westminster Abbey to grieve the monarch, who reigned for 70 years before her death on Thursday (8 September) at the age of 96.