Senior royal's heartbreak as father's health 'deteriorates'

The Queen’s grandson-in-law Mike Tindall has opened up about his father’s 17 year battle with Parkinson's disease.

The 41-year-old English rugby star — who shares daughters Mia Grace, six, and Lena Elizabeth, two, with his wife Zara Philips — revealed how tough it’s been to see his father Philip’s health ‘deteriorate’ due to his diagnosis.

Mike Tindall - pictured with wife Zara in March 2020 - has opened up about his father's battle with Parkinson's. Photo: Getty Images.

“My dad has had Parkinson's for the past 17 years. Over the last few years, I've really seen him deteriorate,” the ex-sportsman told Daily Mail newspaper's Shakespeare column.

As a patron of The Cure Parkinson's Trust, Mike hopes others won't have to witness their loved ones become so ill.

“It's about other sons and daughters not having to see their dad go through what I've seen mine go through,” he said.

Mike had been training hard for the Trust’s gruelling ‘Raid Alpine’ fundraising bike ride in the French Alps by peddling the roads around his Gloucestershire home, Gatcombe Estate owned by his mother-in-law, the Princess Royal.

The event was sadly postponed due to Covid-19 but later relocated to the UK and renamed the ‘Local Raid’.

Mike Tindall and his daughters Lena and Mia in 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

Due to the lockdown, Mike hasn't been able to see his father, a banker and former captain of the Otley rugby club in Gloucestershire, but he did recently open up about homeschooling his two daughters.

“Zara still has hopes that the horses will get back, they still need training and working on, so I get to be a teacher in the mornings which is sometimes really nice, sometimes really frustrating,” he told The Telegraph back in May.

“I don't think any child is a great homeschooler because they definitely listen to other people better than they listen to their parents. Mia can be brilliant one minute and then something you've seen her do a thousand times she'll just go, 'I don't know how to do that' and then you go, 'Well I know you do', and she'll just say, 'No I don't' and then you get frustrated, and you're trying not to get frustrated. She enjoyed it the first week because it was different being around Mum and Dad all the time. But then, ultimately, it's the same people who are telling her off or telling her what to do and I think then she gets bored of that.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter here to get all the latest news and hacks. Or get in touch at