Back in the 80s, royal toddlers William and Harry were not allowed to have a comfort blanket in hand nor were they allowed to wear trainers, a new book has claimed. According to the updated version of “Battle of Brothers” written by historian Robert Lacey, the first nanny that Prince Charles and Lady Diana appointed had many strict rules that she made sure the two boys would follow.
Nanny Barbara Barnes had been recommended by Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting and did not wear a nanny hat or uniform.
Today, Prince William employs Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, a trained nanny from the prestigious 125-year-old Norland College in Bath.
She can sometimes be seen at royal engagements in the traditional brown uniform and hat.
As a student, the Spanish nanny was instructed in child-rearing skills as well as cooking, sewing techniques, and even self-defence and first-aid training.
“Barnes was equally firm with the children, not allowing them comfort blankets and refusing them shoes until they had learned to walk properly,” writes Lacey.
The author says Ms Barnes was strict with both Kensington Palace staff and the young princes.
“When they did get their first footwear, Nanny insisted on classic Start-Rites with button straps that were shaped to the boys’ feet,” he adds.
“Trainers were banned.”
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Royal author Ingrid Seward was reportedly told by a member of the Kensington Palace staff that Barbara Barnes ran the nursery floor “like the Vatican.”
Despite her strong rules, the nanny was very fond of the two boys and taught them how to walk, talk, read, and choose their clothes and shoes.
To the extent that she became “something of a surrogate mother” to William in particular, says Mr Lacey.
As the Princes would wake up at dawn, Ms Barnes would “bring them into her bed most mornings to romp and play together, before giving them their breakfast and passing them on to their parents when they woke.”
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In Robert’s biography, Highgrove housekeeper Wendy Berry was quoted saying that “one weekend she [Barbara Barnes] wasn’t there anymore.”
The historian goes on to suggest that Princess Diana started to “cold-shoulder” the nanny, which would explain her disappearance.
She was later replaced with Alexandra ‘Tiggy’ Pettifer from 1993 to 1999.
Ms Pettifer was with Prince Harry at Balmoral Castle when he found out his mum died in a car crash in 1997.
The Princes are reportedly still in touch with Tiggy with Harry being godfather to her son Fred.
He also introduced her to Meghan during a trip to Cardiff in 2018.
“She’s a very significant person in Harry’s life, almost like a mother-figure, as she looked after Harry when Princess Diana died,” a close source told The Sun.
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