Mike Tindall has revealed that his mother refuses to enlist help to care for his father, who has Parkinson’s disease, as she is a “very stoic, northern lady who refuses to give her man up”.
He described the devastating impact the disease has had on his father, Philip, 74, the man who taught him how to play rugby, and acknowledged the importance of allowing professionals to take some of the burden.
Mr Tindall, patron of Cure Parkinson’s, who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, joined forces with the Duchess of Gloucester, patron of Parkinson’s UK, for a video conversation to mark World Parkinson’s Day.
As he paid tribute to his mother, Linda, 72, he said his father, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2003 has had a “tough five years”.
The pair praised those involved in supporting people with Parkinson’s and working to find a cure.
During the warm exchange, Mr Tindall, 42, also gave an insight into family life with his newborn son Lucas, born just over five weeks ago.
He told the Danish-born Duchess, 74, who is married to the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester, that the baby had been snoozing ahead of a feed.
The Duchess said of his daughters Mia, seven, and two-year-old Lena: “You’ve got those two little nursery helpers to do most of the work, haven’t you?”
Mr Tindall laughed: “It’s a fine balance, I love that they want to help, but maybe they try and help a little bit too much, and smother the baby a little bit.”
The video call took place on April 7, but its release was postponed because of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9.
Chatting about Mr Tindall’s father, the Duchess said: “It is very tough, and it affects the whole family, not least your mother, who is the prime carer … for your dad.”
Mr Tindall replied: “Yeah, we keep telling her that she doesn’t need to be that, but she’s a very stoic, northern lady, who refuses to give her man up.
“And we’re trying to convince her that you’re not giving up your man, you’re just allowing the frustrating parts of it that, you know, get you sort of riled up, that someone else deals with and it also gives you a life.”