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How the Royal Nanny Tames Tantrums, Tackles Bedtime, and Feeds Picky Eaters

She learned all of her tricks from "the Mary Poppins school."


Prince William and Kate have famously followed Princess Diana’s approach when it comes to being hands-on parents to their three kids, George, Charlotte, and Louis. Of course, every mom and dad knows they need a little help now and then. That’s where their trusted nanny, Maria Borrallo, comes in.

The royals hired Borrallo after George was born and she’s been by their side ever since. Before clocking in for work at Buckingham Palace, she trained at Norland College, a very prestigious academy for early childhood education. The school’s reputation for honing caretakers has earned it nicknames like “Harvard for nannies” or “the Mary Poppins school.” 

You may have heard about how Borrallo’s training included some more extreme courses in subjects like defensive driving and martial arts to help keep the young princes and princess safe. While that is important, she was also trained to tackle more everyday issues — like picky eaters and tantrum-throwing toddlers.

Louise Heren, author of Nanny in a Book: The Common-Sense Guide to Childcare ($18.05, Amazon), spent a year at Norland to learn more about their tricks and tips for keeping parents and children happy. She recently shared some of those insights with Mirror Online.

The most essential aspect seems to be maintaining a solid routine. “Even if lunchtime is half an hour later, the clues that lead up to it stay the same,” she explains. “Ten minutes to go, wash your hands, ‘can you help me lay the table?’” Heren claims that Borrallo likely also allows the young royals to choose their meals from a few options to prevent picky eaters from turning up their noses. “If they are informed beforehand, you don’t get a grizzly child,” she says. “It is about training the children by example rather than just telling them.” 

The same emphasis on routine goes for bedtime, too. Heren claims this helps nannies like Borrallo to instill a “resilience in the children” that makes them “happy to be on their own in the dark at night.” Imagine telling your kids to go to sleep and not having them beg for one more story or end up climbing into your bed in the middle of the night instead. Now that’s what we call a royal treatment!

Perhaps the most impressive quality Norland nannies leave school with, though, is the ability to notice a tantrum coming before it ever gets the chance to blow up. “The tantrum can build because you’re not observing what they’re trying to get or do.” Calming that frustration varies from child to child, but keeping a keen eye on the initial shift is key.

It certainly sounds like George, Charlotte, and Louis are in very good hands with their nanny!

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