For today's post we're focusing on George's new nanny and the importance of the role. Confirmation and information regarding Prince George's new nanny, 43-year-old Maria Borrallo, has come to light in recent days. The Palace released the following statement:
'Prince George's new nanny is Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. She was trained at Norland College. Maria is a full-time nanny who started work with the Cambridges recently, and will be accompanying the Duke and Duchess and Prince George to New Zealand and Australia next month.
Kensington Palace will not be giving further details on Maria or her employment, except to say that the Duke and Duchess are delighted she has chosen to join them.'
Whilst the Palace declined to further divulge information, the Spanish and UK press uncovered details about the nanny. Locals in Maria's home town of Palencia in Northern Spain where she grew up said they would not have been surprised if Maria had ended up choosing a church job like her brother Luis, who was ordained as a deacon three years ago. She is said to have been lovingly nicknamed 'Santa' (Spanish for saint) by friends and family when she was a youngster. She is single, said to be "married to the job", and totally committed to the family she's working for.
Naturally, Maria's family and friends are incredibly proud of her. More from the Daily Express story:
'Her retired housewife mum reportedly uses her free time to teach handicapped children. Speaking yesterday, she said, "I am very proud of my daughter, that's all I can say. On the personal front, and professionally, my daughter couldn't be better." Brother Luis revealed, "I'm very happy for her because she's worked hard to get where she has. Children are her life and great passion."'
Maria is employed on a full-time basis and has been given her own accommodation in Kensington Palace. Choosing a nanny to look after your child is a huge decision which would have naturally required enormous consideration. Maria's training at the prestigious Norland College in Bath will have undoubtedly helped the Cambridges reach their decision. The college has educated generations of royal nannies.
|Norland College Facebook Page|
Norland College was founded in 1892 by Emily Ward and its mission is to provide the very best early years education and training for its students, giving them the knowledge, experience and skills to maximise their potential. Prior to the introduction of formal training at Norland, children would be cared for by 'untutored' housemaids before going to school. Norland was the first college to offer any kind of childcare training.
|Emily Ward Norland College|
Emily Ward quickly recognised that Norland Nurses (as Norland graduates were originally known) needed to be recognised as professionals and not mistaken for housemaids so she introduced a uniform. Norland Nurses would not only wear the uniform at the college but also, once qualified, in the workplace - so they were recognisable wherever they went. The uniform is still a strong part of Norland's tradition and nannies are expected to wear it with pride. However, graduates are no longer expected to wear it when working within a family. When Maria was photographed with George she was casually dressed in a jumper and slacks.
Norland students pictured during a cooking lesson.
Miss Webb was first employed by Prince Charles and Princess Diana to look after William and Harry when the future King was aged seven and about to start prep school. It was a difficult time within the family, as Charles and Diana's marriage was crumbling. Jessie, with her cockney accent and no nonsense attitude, provided a sense of stability for the boys. She felt the princes needed feeding up and ensured the nursery fridge was stocked with sausages, bacon, bread, buns, cakes and biscuits. Palace chef Mervyn Wycherley was once overheard saying of Miss Webb's practice, 'If I didn't lock the kitchen door we would have no food left.'
More from the Mail Online:
'"She knew how to swoop up the boys when their parents' arguments became too loud," a police bodyguard said. When William went away to Ludgrove in 1990, Jessie only had Harry to look after. If anything William's absence made the atmosphere even worse. By the summer of 1991, the fairytale marriage was over in all but name.
It was inevitable perhaps that as Charles and Diana lashed out, others got hurt too. One casualty was Jessie. "In fact both Charles and Diana had decided it was time she should move on," said a former Palace figure. "He found her too big, too brash and generally too loud. Diana just stopped talking to her. Jessie never really knew why."'
Jessie's influence remained with William and Harry who are said to have greatly missed her following her sudden departure. William ensured Jessie was a guest at his 21st birthday and the royal wedding.
Of course, William and Harry had other nannies with whom they formed close bonds. No one more so than Nanny Olga Powell, who arrived at the Palace in 1982. She was 52 and recently widowed when she came to work for the royals; William was just six months old. Diana adored Olga according to the late Princess's former bodyguard Ken Wharfe: "Olga didn't take any nonsense and was a stickler for good table manners. She was stern, but she was fun. I remember on one occasion her dumping the boys on me and saying, "Ken , look after them, can you?" And if there is any bloody nonsense, and they don't behave, you can give them a good clout."
After Charles and Diana separated, Diana retained Olga's services while the boys were with her. In fact, It was Olga to whom William sent a sad letter when he discovered his parents were splitting up. She regarded William and Harry as grandsons and also attended William's 18th birthday, the royal wedding, Harry's confirmation at Windsor Castle, and his passing out at Sandhurst. When Harry was deployed in Afghanistan she wrote a letter of support and admitted her fears for his welfare. Olga passed away in 2012 and a solemn William attended her funeral. Olga requested donations to Prince Harry's charity, Sentebale, in lieu of flowers.
When the boys were with Charles following the separation, they were looked after by Alexandra Legge-Bourke, daughter of the late William and Shân, lady-in-waiting to the Princess Royal. She joined the Royal Family in 1993. A former nursery teacher, nicknamed 'Tiggy' after her love of Beatrix Potter's hedgehog, she was employed as assistant to Charles's private secretary, and later as an official companion to the princes. Interestingly she was not described as a nanny.
Tiggy was described as a cross between 'a mentor and a big sister' for the princes, accompanying them on holidays and spending hours outdoors with them fishing, climbing and go-karting. Tiggy became very close to William and Harry and affectionately described them as "my babies". 28-year-old Tiggy unwisely said of Princess Diana, 'I give them what they need, fresh air, a rifle and a horse. She gives them a tennis racket and a bucket of popcorn.'
Princess Diana was allegedly incensed and reportedly started a rumour Charles was having an affair with Tiggy, and insisted she leave the room when she was talking to her sons.
Royal biographer Penny Juror recalled an incident:
'She was very jealous. There was a terrible incident when Diana went up to Tiggy at the staff Christmas party and whispered in her ear, 'Sorry to hear about that baby'. Tiggy had just been into hospital for a minor operation and the suggestion was that she'd had an abortion. Tiggy was devastated and rushed out in floods of tears.'
Tiggy, now one of the country's few female fly fishing instructors, married Charles Pettifer, a former Coldstream Guards officer in 1999. The wedding was attended by William and Harry. Today she runs a bed and breakfast and her 11-year-old is William's godson. Indeed, she was hotly tipped to be one of George's godparents.
It is interesting to see the important roles royal nannies played in the lives of the princes. The role is constantly changing, particularly as William and Kate are the most 'hands on' royal parents yet. I believe the Cambridges will want to spend as much time with George as possible, but while it may not be imminent, full-time royal duties are most certainly not more than a few years away.
With over twenty years experience and a highly sought after qualification, Maria sounds like a superb choice to look after Prince George (and possibly future siblings). I know many will be surprised William and Kate have elected to hire a full-time nanny following headlines claiming the contrary but I thought it an inevitable step. Perhaps it signals an increase in duties for Kate? And we know William will more than likely be taking on a role in public office (there's been talk of a 2-3 year posting in the Foreign Office starting this autumn).
Like royal nannies before her, Maria will play a significant and important role in George's upbringing. We leave you with a photo of William with his very first nanny, Barbara Barnes, stepping off a plane in Australia in 1983.