Mike Tindall reveals small daughters 'try to help' with newborn Lucas

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5 min read

Watch: Tindall tells of his parents’ lockdown isolation to raise Parkinson’s awareness

Mike Tindall has given an insight into his household after welcoming his third child, as he revealed there is now a "fine balance" in letting his daughters help with his son Lucas.

Tindall, who is married to the Queen's granddaughter Zara, welcomed son Lucas in March 2021, with the baby arriving in their bathroom.

He shared some updates on the little one with the Queen's cousin-in-law, the Duchess of Gloucester, during a call at the beginning of April ahead of World Parkinson’s Day, one of their mutual causes.

Arriving slightly late for their call, he said: "Sorry, that’s why I was a couple of minutes late. I was just dropping Lucas out of the room, he was snoozing. Zara’s about to feed him."

The duchess referenced Tindall's daughters Mia, seven, and Lena, two, as she replied: "You’ve got those two little nursery helpers to do most of the work, haven’t you?”

Tindall laughed and said: “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.”

Mike Tindall spoke to the Duchess of Gloucester about Parkinsons. (Buckingham Palace)
Mike Tindall spoke to the Duchess of Gloucester about Parkinsons. (Buckingham Palace)

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The couple welcomed their son Lucas Philip on 21 March, and his middle name is a nod both to Prince Philip, Zara's late grandfather, and Tindall's father. 

Tindall is not a senior working royal, but would have appeared in the court circular when he held this call with Birgette, who is married to the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, and does carry out royal duties.

The two were chatting during Parkinson's month, but details of their call on 7 April were delayed because just two days later, Prince Philip died, and the palace went into royal mourning.

The Duchess of Gloucester joined the called with family member Mike Tindall. (Buckingham Palace)
The Duchess of Gloucester joined the called with family member Mike Tindall. (Buckingham Palace)

Tindall's father, Philip, was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2003, but the former rugby player said that while the last five years have been tough, the worst of his condition stretches back to 2011, the year he married Zara.

Linda, Tindall's mother, is Philip's primary carer.

He said: "I would say he’s had a really...tough five years, maybe even longer actually.

"It’s our 10-year wedding anniversary and it was that year that … through his Parkinson’s, his spine in his back is obviously curved, and then it caused problems with his discs and he had to have a wheelchair at the wedding. He could walk some bits of it."

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Tindall explained his father lost strength because of a back operation and then when he suffered colitis. 

He said: "When you start adding those things up, they’ve made a massive change over the last 10 years, whereas before that, you know, it was a lot slower process.

"Then you throw in lockdown ... they’re both on the vulnerable list so they have not left the house in a year."

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."

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 get you sort of riled up, that someone else deals with and it also gives you a life."

STROUD, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 15: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Mike Tindall and daughters Lena Tindall and Mia Tindall attend day 3 of the Whatley Manor Gatcombe International Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park on September 15, 2019 in Stroud, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Mike Tindall and daughters Lena Tindall and Mia Tindall at the Gatcombe International Horse Trials in 2019. He said it's a balance letting them help with his newborn son. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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The podcast host, who shared the news of his son's arrival on The Good, The Bad, and the Rugby, said it was hard for him to persuade his mother to have a carer in to help.

At the end of the call, the duchess said: "It’s been lovely to talk with you, Mike, it really has."

Tindall replied: "I can’t wait to see you guys, it’s been so long."

Although the Tindalls have never carried out royal duties, they still attend royal events like Trooping the Colour and Zara still has a place in the line of succession, despite the lack of royal title.

They were both at the funeral of Prince Philip on 17 April as the Queen ensured none of his children or grandchildren were left off the smaller guest list.

Tindall said the day had been "eerie" but remarked that the smaller event would have suited the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Tindall is a patron of Cure Parkinson's, and the duchess is a patron of Parkinson's UK.