Secrets of the nannies who raised generations of royal kids

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Secrets of the nannies who raised generations of royal kids

The Sussexes have enlisted help for baby Archie, continuing a long and fascinating tradition

Eleanor Steafel

From superintendent of the nursery to part-time big sister, the transformation of the royal nanny is a fascinating one. As with so many aspects of royal protocol, the role has evolved with each generation – from Queen Victoria’s era, when nursemaids and governesses were expected to exercise complete authority in the nursery and devote their entire lives to their charges, to the newest generation of royal parents, who have a far more hands-on approach to their children, using nannies only to fill in the gaps.

In many ways, the royal family’s childcare choices are a good marker of the times – Prince William, for example, has always taken a thoroughly modern approach with his own brood compared with his parents, who gave their sons a very formal, old-fashioned upbringing. Indeed, the Cambridges sent ripples through society circles when they advertised for a general housekeeper, not a nanny, after the birth of Prince George (though they have since employed Norland nanny Maria Borrallo fulltime). Now it is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s turn to navigate this particular parenting minefield.

The couple have already come under fire for various choices, though allegations that they have already got through a succession of nannies are said to be unfounded. Photographs published in the Sun last week revealed that their new British nanny – who is now with them fulltime and is likely to be seen on their next tour – accompanied them on holiday to France...

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