A policeman’s daughter from Scotland, Anderson joined the royal employ in 1949 at the age of 22 after replying to an advertisement placed in a nursing magazine – unaware that the position to which she was applying was within the royal household. Along with Helen Lightbody, Anderson served as the main nanny to all of Elizabeth’s children, including Prince Charles. The young Prince became extremely attached to his nanny, who was often photographed taking him for rides through London’s St. James’ Park in a giant old pram. When she retired in 1981, after 32 years’ service, Anderson was given a grace-and-favor apartment near Windsor Castle, and she still spends every Christmas with the royal family at their country retreat at Sandringham.
Nannies have played an important part in the life of the monarchy, and British royal children have often become very close to them – sometimes closer than they are to their parents. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reportedly decided to break with centuries of tradition by choosing not to employ a full-time nanny for their child. Instead, they will rely on part-time help. Here’s a look back in time at the women employed to help raise the children of the British royals.