Real Nannies of the Sacred Code

King Tut’s nanny might have been his sister, which means she was a princess.


King Tut’s Nanny Might’ve Been a Princess

Being a former professionally trained nanny, I get a little annoyed when babysitters are called nannies or nannies are poorly portrayed in fiction. Also, the heroine of Jack & the Very Proper Nanny is a Nanny of the Sacred Code.


The United States was young and naïve about nannies up until the 1980s, I’d say. The rich and famous had always employed them, of course, but it seemed the rest of America thought childcare solely the mother’s job. Besides, all babies did was eat, poop, and cry. Then, a lot of mothers started working outside the home and dads were expected to do their share. A lot of eyes were opened to how hard caring for children is and why professional help is often needed.


President Kennedy’s Nanny
Nannies were often highly esteemed elsewhere around the world and throughout history.

Charlotte de La Motte Houdancourt, a duchess, looked after the future King Louis XV of France and is credited with saving his life during a Measles epidemic. King Louis’ Nanny

King Josiah in the Bible was saved by his nanny when the usurper had all the other royal princes murdered.

Pharaoh Tutankhamen so loved his nanny that he built a glorious tomb for her.

The future Queen Mary lost her nanny, Lady Bryan, to the future Queen Elizabeth I who lost her to the future King Edward VI. Oh, those dramatic Tudors. Guess it was lucky the nanny was the only thing they lost.

THE TUDORS - Season 4

King Henry VIII’s Nanny

Personally, I do not envy Lady Bryan’s exalted position, especially when the much-longed for male heir finally arrived.  She must’ve been constantly terrified of hitting the scaffold every time her charge got the sniffles.

At the height of the Victorian Era, an English lady, Emily Ward, worried that the standard of childcare was suffering and nannies were being mistaken for housemaids. She founded the oldest nanny school in the world The Norland College in 1892.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge employ a Norland nanny to look after Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Likewise, Sheilagh Roth, the director of my alma mater   The English Nanny & Governess School founded that school in 1984.

norland'snannybookThis book on Amazon.

Celebrities are often accused of not talking about their nannies because they don’t appreciate them and they want the rest of us to believe they do all the work themselves. Not true. It’s a matter of family security. Keeping nannies out of the spotlight keeps the children out of the crosshairs of those who would harm them.

To get an idea of what it’s like to be a Real Nanny of the Sacred Code, check out these guidelines from the Norland College for their students-

Norland Code of Professional Responsibilities

I’ll post with my suggestions for pursuing a career as top-knotch nanny at a later date.


If you’d like to know more about this exalted profession, try to find yourself a copy of   The Unnatural History of the Nanny by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.   This book on Amazon.