By Ellin Stein
Jul 22, 2015 @ 1:15 pm
Chris Jackson/Getty

Who, many may have wondered, was the woman in the eminently sensible tan uniform, brown hat, and ever-present white gloves standing behind the royal couple at Princess Charlotte’s christening? A policewoman in dress uniform? A bodyguard in disguise?

In fact, she was Prince George’s nanny Maria Borrallo (above), and the uniform—provided by Harrods—identified her as a graduate of Norland College, Britain’s premier nanny-training academy since its founding in 1892.


In addition to traditional skills like sewing, diaper changing, and cooking children’s meals, Norland students on the three-year course now learn ones, as seen in this BBC News report, like first aid, taekwondo (to fend off possible kidnappers), and advanced evasive driving (to foil paparazzi), among other trades that might be needed to look after the offspring of high net-worth individuals.

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Above all, these modern day Mary Poppinses are expected to combine a warm and caring nature with ladylike behavior at all times. They’re even restricted from going into a fast-food restaurant or jaywalking while in uniform.

The Norland course, which leads to a B.A. in Early Years Development and Learning from a British university, costs about $20,500 annually. But with a starting salary for a newly qualified Norland nanny of $37,000 a year and no shortage of offers, spots are in demand. All that’s missing is a magic flying umbrella.

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