Royal Family members have often gushed about their affection for their nannies well into adulthood. Prince William and Prince Harry were said to have adored their nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who they leaned on following the death of their mother Princess Diana in 1997. The princes also had a close bond with their deputy nanny Olga Powell, who stayed in touch years afterwards, attending major milestone events such as William’s 21st birthday party. Nannies have always held major responsibility in the British monarchy, providing future kings and queens with day-to-day care, discipline and comfort.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge currently employ the elite Borland College-trained Maria Borrallo to help look after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
She is often spotted in the background at royal events, providing a helping hand while William and Kate are delivering their duties.
The role of the royal nanny is continually evolving and they can now be called upon to provide additional house-keeping duties in addition to child-rearing.
But there are a couple of key differences between nannies hired today compared to the past.
US royal historian Carolyn Harris, author of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, told Express.co.uk nannies now receive “much more supervision” than in the past due to serious incidents of neglect.
Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, nearly died in 1841 after her nanny Louis Lehzen failed to diagnose the princess’ serious flu-like symptoms.
Ms Harris explained: “In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the nursery was the nanny’s domain and problems with the nursery staff might take a long time to reach the attention of royal parents.
“Prince Albert became critical of the nursery staff chosen by Queen Victoria’s former governess Baroness Lezhen once Victoria and Albert’s eldest daughter fell ill in their care.
“Albert then insisted on Lezhen’s dismissal and new caregivers in the royal nursery.”
But worse was to follow with serious neglect coming further down the line of succession, starting with Albert and Victoria’s grandson George V.
Ms Harris said: “King George V and Queen Mary dismissed a nanny who pinched their eldest son, the future Edward VIII and neglected their second son, the future George VI, after she had been in their employment for three years, demonstrating that royal parents of the time were not necessarily aware of how nannies behaved toward the children in their care.
“Today, a problem with a nanny in the royal nursery would be identified much more quickly as royal parents are more involved in the day to day care of their children than they were in past centuries.”
George VI, the Queen’s father, famously had a stutter which has even been attributed to the poor care and neglect he received from his nanny before her eventual dismissal.
Another key change is the adaptation of the nanny to meet the needs of modern Royal parents as they become more hands-on parents.
Ms Harris says “extensive overseas travel” is now an expected part of the job as many members of the monarchy prefer to take their child abroad while on Royal engagements.
She said: “When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip undertook extensive Commonwealth tours in the 1950s, Prince Charles and Princess Anne remained in Britain with their nannies and their grandmother, the Queen Mother.
“In contrast, Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales brought Prince William with them to Australia and New Zealand when he was nine-months-old.
“William and Harry joined their parents on subsequent tours including a visit to Canada in 1991.”
This tradition has also passed down the line to the Cambridges who took Prince George to Australia and New Zealand also, as well as George and Charlotte to Canada.
Previously royal engagements “took priority over family time” whereas now that has changed, Ms Harris said.
She added this is likely to be the approach favoured by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry once they have their first child.
Ms Harris said: “The current generation of royal parents of young children is making efforts to balance royal duties with quality time with their children, even during busy periods of royal engagements and overseas tours.
“For example, William and Catherine’s 2016 tour of British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada was structured so that the royal couple could return to Government House in Victoria most evenings to spend time with their children after undertaking a full day of royal engagements.
“Harry and Meghan may take a similar approach, ensuring a balance between royal engagements and time with their children.”