Mike Tindall has spoken of the devastating effect Parkinson’s disease has had on his father and the isolation his parents endured during the pandemic.
He paid tribute to his mother Linda, who is his father Philip’s main caretaker, as “ a very stoic northern lady who refuses to give up her husband, ” but said he was trying to convince her to accept offers of support. .
The former England rugby player, 42, who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Tindall, joined forces with the Duchess of Gloucester for a video call to mark World Parkinson’s Day.
During the warm exchange with his royal in-laws, Tindall also gave an insight into family life with his infant son Lucas, who was born just over five weeks ago.
Mike Tindall (pictured), 42, revealed the devastating impact Parkinson’s disease had on his father during a joint video call with the Duchess of Gloucester as he celebrated his first official royal engagement on Wednesday.
The former England rugby player, who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Tindall, has joined forces with the Duchess of Gloucester (pictured) for a video call to mark World Parkinson’s Day.
He said to Danish-born Birgitte, who congratulated him on the new arrival: ‘Sorry, that’s why I was a few minutes late. I just let Lucas out of the room, he was dozing. Zara is about to feed him. ‘
Birgitte, who is married to the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, said of Tindall’s daughters Mia, the seven, and two-year-old Lena, “You’ve got those two little daycare workers to do most of the work, Oasis,” don’t you? ‘
Tindall laughed and said, “It’s a great balance – I love that they want to help, but maybe they are trying to help a little bit too much and smother the baby a little bit.”
Lucas’ middle name, Philip, is in honor of both Tindall’s father and the Duke of Edinburgh, who died just 19 days after the birth of his great-grandson.
Princess Royal (center) and Mark Phillips (back right) leave with Mike Tindall’s parents after the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh
The Duchess of Gloucester (pictured) has been a patron of Parkinson’s UK since 1997, which focuses on providing support to people with Parkinson’s and their families, as well as funding and promoting research into the condition
Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips are from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding on July 30, 2011
The video call took place on April 7, but the release was delayed due to the death of the duke on April 9.
Tindall told the Duchess that his parents are both on the vulnerable list and have not left their home for a year.
He added: “ What they really missed this year is … my mom’s missed company, really – being able to see someone else because she doesn’t feel comfortable leaving my dad alone now. to let. ‘
Tindall is a patron of Cure Parkinson’s, while Birgitte is a patron of Parkinson’s UK.
He said his 74-year-old father, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, had a “ tough five years, ” but his deterioration dates back 10 years to 2011 – the year Tindall married Zara.
“I’d say he’s had a pretty tough five years, maybe even longer,” he said.
‘It’s our 10th wedding anniversary and it was that year that … because of his Parkinson’s, his spine is clearly crooked, and then it caused problems with his intervertebral discs and then he had to have a wheelchair at the wedding. He could walk some of it. ‘
Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall on day three of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 12, 2020
Speaking of how his dad lost strength after back surgery and then got colitis, Tindall added, “ When you add those things together they made a huge change in the last 10 years, whereas before that, you know, it was a lot slower process.
‘Then you throw in lockdown and they are literally both on the vulnerable list, so they are not literally out of the house in a year.’
The Duchess said, “It’s very hard, and it affects the whole family, not least your mother, who is the main caretaker … for your father.”
Tindall replied, ‘Yes, we keep telling her she doesn’t have to be, but she’s a very stoic Northern lady who refuses to give up on her husband.
‘And we’re trying to convince her that you don’t give up on your man, you just let in the frustrating parts of it that, you know, kind of confuse you, what someone else is dealing with and it also gives you a life . ‘
Describing how his mother, 72, was reluctant to leave Philip’s care to others, he added, “We’ve tried to take care of it, a strange caretaker comes in and takes care of him to give her time.”
The Duchess replied, “It can be very difficult to convince someone like your mother to do that for her own good.”
The Duchess of Gloucester, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Gloucester during day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2017
The larger royal family, like the rest of the nation, has spent most of the past year separated from each other in lockdown, and Tindall revealed that he misses his royal relatives.
The Duchess said, “It was nice talking to you, Mike, really.”
Tindall replied wholeheartedly, “I can’t wait to see you, it’s been so long.”
The pair praised those involved in supporting people with Parkinson’s and finding a cure.
Tindall said, “Thank you to everyone involved in any part of Parkinson’s, it means a lot to me, especially from my heart, and please keep doing it … hopefully (World Parkinson’s Day) will end one day.”
The ex-rugby player, who has long campaigned to raise awareness, has raised money for Cure Parkinson’s with a 750km (466 mile) bike ride.
About 145,000 people in the UK are living with the disease and are identified as clinically vulnerable to Covid-19, with an additional risk for the majority who are over 70 years old.