William and Harry’s nanny had rules which ‘banned them from having items all kids love’
It's no secret that the children in the royal family experience a unique upbringing, from formal dressing to learning to curtsey.
One significant element of their childhood which many can't relate to however, is the fact that all royal children have a specific nanny present throughout their early years.
It's common practise throughout the royal family, with new parents bringing in a helping hand to balance royal life and newborns.
No exception to the unwritten rule were Prince Harry and Prince William, who, when born, were instantly introduced to a nanny.
Shortly after Princess Diana gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles decided she would definitely need another pair of hands, and hired Barbara Barnes.
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Barbara, 42 at the time, had been recommended by Princess Margaret's personal assistant, and new parents Charles and Diana were more than happy to give her the role.
Barbara took her role as nanny extremely seriously, and according to the biography by Robert Lacy, Battle of Brothers, she was strict not only with the princes, but all of the Kensington Palace staff.
He told of the bizarre rules she gave the princes, which included banning comfort blankets and refusing to give them shoes until they had learned to walk properly.
Even after learning to walk, she still put strict protocols in place: “When they did get their first footwear, Nanny insisted on classic Start-Rites with button straps that were shaped to the boys’ feet. Trainers were banned.”
Barbara was known to guard the princes' nursery 'like the Vatican' amongst members of Kensington Palace staff, as they became accustomed to her rigorous ways.
Will and Harry were used to a strict regime, where they were expected to wake up at dawn. Robert told of Barbara's early morning routine for the boys, telling how she 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.”
Barbara's role was more than just routines and rules however, and she effectively taught both princes to talk, walk, read, and dress themselves.
She regularly took them on holidays to Scotland and the Scilly Isles, where they could enjoy adventures away from the prying eye of the public.
However, Robert claims that Princess Diana eventually gave Barbara the 'cold shoulder', and she suddenly disappeared from Will and Harry's lives. The reason is unknown, however it is believed Diana stopped all contact with Barbara.
Prince William was significantly close to Barbara, who was present throughout many of his early years, and he even invited her to his wedding to Kate Middleton.
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