Margaret Minnicks is an online writer who writes about the royal family.
Nannies have a very special job when they care for children in the royal family. They are sworn to secrecy about most things, but there are some general things they are allowed to share that do not go against the confidentiality agreement they signed to ensure they do not reveal family secrets.
Even after they stop being a nanny for a royal family, they are not allowed to share any secrets they are aware of. They have to sign an agreement that they will never write a book about their job.
Even though the job might appear to be glamorous, nannies have shared some information that proves their position is not always peaches and cream. In fact, there are many nannies who have quit their $40,000 a year job. That's because they have to sacrifice so much to work for the royal family. For instance, they have to be away from their own family to spend time with someone else's family.
Not a 9 to 5 Job
Being a nanny for the royals is a demanding position. They must be fully committed to the children all the time because their job is not only from 9 to 5. They are called nannies, but they must perform other duties as well which may include being a cook instead of merely serving the children cold cereal. They care for their clothes and dress them. They pick up after them and clean their rooms. If the family has pets, nannies care for them as well.
Nannies have to keep the children on a schedule which includes taking the kids outdoors and playing with them.
Usually, it is the royal nanny who is with the children when they speak their first words, begin to crawl or take their first step. Of course, the parents are notified of those milestones and are on the lookout for when they happen again.
Nannies travel with the royal families, but it is nothing like a vacation because the nannies work the entire time without having an opportunity to go sightseeing or do things on their own.
Job Too Demanding
Some people keep their jobs as nannies until they retire. Then there are some who quit long before they reach retirement age. Back in 2017, a nanny who worked for Prince William and Kate Middleton resigned because she found the job to be too demanding. She said her position was taking "too much a toll on her." Therefore, she quit.
Nannies Have No Personal Life
Being a nanny is a full-time position that means her life is not her own. She lives with the royal family night and day and is on call all the time. Therefore, her duties take up all her time in the royal household. That's one reason nannies are usually single women without children of their own.
Living Quarters for Royal Nannies
The living quarters for the nannies and other employees are much like university dormitory rooms. They are equipped with only the basics and nothing more.
The room of a nanny has a single bed, a closet for clothes and a sink to wash up. The surprising thing is that nannies have to pay for their room and board. The funds are taken out of their salary.
Nannies Are Part of a Large Team
One of the most well-known nannies for royal children is Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. She was hired by Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2014 when Prince George was eight months old. She is now the nanny for all three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Maria is single without children of her own. She is totally dedicated to the royal family and loves the young children.
With all of Maria's experiences and dedication, she isn't the only one looking out for royal children. She is one part of a large team. The entire staff consisting of nursemaids, the publicist, the chef, the cleaning staff, and the security team also look out for the Cambridge children.
Although Maria is everything a family could want in a nanny, Kate Middleton wanted her own mother, Carole, to be the children's nanny. That would have gone against royal protocol because Carole had not gone through the intense training that is required.
Nannies Are Trained
Not just anyone is qualified to live in a royal household and take care of princes and princesses. Nannies are well educated. Many of them are graduates of Norland College. The prestigious academy teaches mostly women and a few men to be equipped to get a job as a nanny. A royal family will not choose a person to care for children who has not been well trained and prepared for the position. There are three years of lectures, practical applications, and intense training before someone is qualified to become a nanny.
Training also includes working with robotic dolls. The dolls cry and wet themselves to mimic being an actual baby. The nannies from Norland have to be trained in hand-to-hand combat and go through intense safety training. They also have to pass defensive driving courses, first-aid courses, and a swimming and lifeguard course.
Before nannies graduate from Norland, they must attend an eight-week etiquette course. They learn how to speak and address people with titles as well as how to eat properly. They also learn all about body language and many other things to help them find work after they graduate.
Graduates from Norland are in high demand. Therefore, it is almost a guarantee that those who graduate will eventually get a job as a nanny. They are subjected to a thorough background check before they are hired. Then they have to go through another background check every three years to make sure there is nothing derogatory in their past.
It is interesting that since nannies are thoroughly trained, they end up sharing their knowledge with the parents who haven't been trained.
All royals are expected to know more than one language. Nannies are educated and help teach young children to learn foreign languages.
Maria Borrallo is from Spain. She is teaching Prince George and Princess Charlotte Spanish. Maria speaks six languages which makes her the perfect tutor for the children.
You have probably seen photos of nannies wearing a uniform consisting of a beige dress with white gloves and the recognizable Norland hat. However, it is not a requirement for them to wear a uniform all the time. For instance, if they are outside playing with the children, they can wear everyday clothing.
They are only required to wear their uniform when they are with the children at a wedding or on other special occasions.
Nannies are not allowed to wear heavy makeup or jewelry to draw attention to themselves.
Nannies Must Love Children
Even though people have gone through three years of training, they need not apply to get a job as a nanny if they are lacking in one particular area. Nannies who work as a nanny must love the children they are hired to care for. Parents of royal children must be sure nannies don't want the job just to brag about being near the royals.
To be accepted into Norland, each applicant must write an essay explaining why they want to become a nanny. Officials usually can determine if people really care for children by what they write in the essay.
Do Nannies Discipline the Royal Children?
A nanny must be firm to make sure the children are on their best behavior. However, nannies are not allowed to physically punish the children under no circumstances. A nanny can be fired on the spot for spanking a royal child.
Nannies and Photographers
Nannies are photographed when they are out and about with royal children. They are aware of photographers, but they are not allowed to engage with them in any way. They are not to encourage the media to photograph the children. Often it can't be helped. Therefore, it is up to the nanny to make sure the children are on their best behavior.
Men Can Also Be Nannies
Nannies are mostly women. However, men are stepping up and showing that they too have what it takes to care for children. There hasn't been a male nanny to take care of the royal children yet. In 2018, two men graduated from Norland for the first time in the school's 126-year history. Therefore, they are equipped to be hired as nannies.
Nedra Lloyd on January 22, 2020:
Your article was interesting. Is $40,000.00/yr. enough money to live on? Do you have benefits i.e. health care, dental insurance and so on? Could 2-3 kids have health amenities as their working parents? In other words, Is there extended healthcare for the nanny and her family? Sounds like a nanny is a glorified babysitter. Thank you for sharing.
Rose on January 22, 2020:
I really found your article interesting!! Thanks for great site ! Looking forward to other good info!
Yolande Cousineau on January 20, 2020:
Thank your for informational about nannies..very interesting..