Crucial Royal Family member who was ‘dead against’ Mike and Zara Tindall’s wedding | Royal | News

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Mike and Zara Tindall are perhaps one of the most unorthodox couples when it comes to the Royal Family. While Mike made his name in rugby, Zara didn’t grow up with a life of public service like her cousins and instead became a champion equestrian.

Princess Anne, Zara’s mother, decided against giving royal titles to her daughter and son, Peter, and instead allowed them to pursue private lives.

It still left Zara firmly placed within the Royal Family and privy to all the privileges that come with it, and some members of Mike’s family feared the worst.

Unearthed reports show how his grandmother was initially against the wedding and thought it was destined for disaster.

In 2020, Philip, Mike’s 78-year-old dad, revealed during a Sunday Times interview that she was “dead against” his and Zara’s marriage.

He said she was used to the royals either marrying within the family or wedding to other families with ties to royalty. Ultimately, he said, she feared that their union wouldn’t be well received.

“Linda’s mum was dead against it,” he revealed. “In her day, royalty married royalty and she thought the wedding would be shunned.”

Mike’s grandmother tragically passed away before she got the chance to meet Zara. However, Phillip said he believed the pair would have got along extremely well.

He said: “I know she’d have loved her as much as we do because she and Mike are perfect for each other.”

Mike is known to share a close bond with his family and has dedicated much of his time to things close to the Tindalls’ hearts. He has campaigned to raise money for Parkinson’s following his dad’s lengthy ordeal with the neurodegenerative disease and is patron of the charity Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

The first time Mike found out that his dad had Parkinson’s was way back in 2003 during the Rugby World Cup in Australia, the same time and place he met Zara at a bar.

He told Charco Neurotech that being “a typical northern bloke”, it took his dad a fair amount of time to see someone about the struggles he had been having with things like writing. On finally seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

A tight work schedule and global travelling meant he rarely got to see his dad, and so he remained “fairly blasé about it for the next six or seven years”.

He said he didn’t take what his dad had too seriously at first, something that he has come to regret. “I feel that if I’d have taken more notice then, I could have made him get on top of staying physically fit and in shape – but that’s all hindsight because it’s the knowledge that I have now that might not have been there in 2003,” he said.

“I wish I’d paid more interest in what was going on with Parkinson’s and done a little bit more research back then.”

Mike’s dad was “in and out of a wheelchair” for the whole of his and Zara’s wedding, the result of an operation on his back to tackle another symptom of his Parkinson’s.

Regardless, he said he and his family have continued to live as normally as possible, and that his dad still holds on to his much-loved independence, and does the things he enjoys like gardening and playing with his grandchildren.

Around 1 in 37 people alive in the UK today will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime.

Some 153,000 are already living with the disease, which causes unintended or uncontrollable movements such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

The Duchess of Gloucester, a full-time working member of the Royal Family, has similarly made it her duty to help research into Parkinson’s disease.

She has been the Patron for Parkinson’s UK since 1996 and has supported several events in her role, including attending the Mervyn Peake Awards and visiting various local groups.

She previously said: “As members of the Royal Family and in our public life, The Duke and I have the huge privilege of continuously meeting people greatly committed to their work with charitable causes – many individuals being volunteers, doing all kinds of good works, giving of their time, talents and expertise.

“Some are high-powered and greatly skilled, others willing to do the most mundane but essential tasks. All of them enjoy being part of a team supporting a noble cause.

“It is inspiring and immensely rewarding meeting these volunteers on my varying engagements in London and throughout the country.”

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