Mike Tindall's grandmother apparently did not welcome his marriage to Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's first granddaughter and the daughter of Princess Anne with her ex-husband Mark Phillips. She was afraid that her grandson's marriage would be "shunned" by the royals because of their different backgrounds.

In an interview with The Times, Mike and his father, Philip Tindall, shared their experience in the first few years of getting to know their soon-to-be royal in-laws. Philip confirmed that his mother-in-law was "dead against" Mike's relationship with Zara because only royals married royals.

However, contrary to expectations, the Tindalls never felt unwelcomed by the royal family. They actually spent a lot of time with Zara's relatives when the two became more serious. 

According to Mike, who was a professional rugby player before he married, the royals would watch his Friday night matches or they would be invited to spend Sunday brunches at Princess Anne's house. Prince Harry would also often hang out to watch rugby with the family.

The Tindalls said that this went on for quite some time until Mike met and got comfortable with every member of the royal family. According to Philip, Mike and Zara are quite the "fantastic team" and the perfect match for each other.

Philip also revealed that Zara was pleased of her mother's decision not to give her a royal title. As such, they were able to live their own lives, away from the pressures of the royal spotlight.

Zara and Mike were married in the same year as Prince William and Kate Middleton, in 2011. They have been blessed with two daughters, despite Zara's miscarriage experience.  

But during Mike and Zara's wedding, Philip's progressive, life-long disease, which would affect him for the rest of his life, was getting worse. Zara's father-in-law has Parkinson's disease and Mike admitted that he has seen his father deterioratefor nearly two decades. The former professional player once said in an interview in 2019 that the disease has been a nightmare.

For the last few years, Mike has been joining other families dealing with Parkinson's disease for the challenging Raid Local fundraising event for The Cure Parkinson's Trust, his patronage.  This year's fundraiser will proceed with riders socially distancing from each other while attempting to bike 12,000 uphill and finish 85 miles. They hope to raise at least $200,000 for Parkinson's research.