Mike Tindall has rejected the idea of sending his daughter Mia away to a boarding school. The former rugby player and husband of Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Zara Philips does not want to pack off Mia to Gordonstoun.

“I’m certainly not keen on sending Mia away to a boarding school at the other end of the country. I know many people who say boarding was the making of them because they forged great independence from their parents, but I don’t really want her to be distanced from us,” said Mike, 37, talking to the Daily Mail. He was attending the Hope and Homes ‘End the Silence’ fundraiser at Abbey Road Studios in London on Wednesday.

It has been reported that his denial can upset the royals who have a family tradition of sending their kids to the well-known boarding school.

His wife Zara, and other members of the British royal family including Prince Philip and Prince Charles, have attended the elite school in the north of Scotland. The former England rugby captain robustly insisted he would not send Mia to a boarding school.

Mike attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield, northern England. He said his school was a public school and many of his friends “lived in, but I was just a day student and it definitely didn’t do me any harm.” Mike added that during his school days, he enjoyed the best of both worlds.

He wants his two-year-old daughter to attend a nearby school, so that he and his wife would always be on hand if she needed her parents. Mike is likely to consider several established schools near the family home on the Gatcombe Park Estate in Gloucestershire. According to sources close to the family, the Dean Close pre-preparatory school in Cheltenham may be the first choice, while in later years, Mia could become a day scholar at Cheltenham Ladies College. 

This is not the first time a British royal has been concerned about sending their kids to boarding school. In 1961, the late Queen Mother wrote a series of letters warning against packing Prince Charles off to Gordonstoun. She feared that he would be “terribly cut off and lonely in the far north.”