The Cambridges’ nanny Maria Borrallo was taught never to call children ‘kids’??

The Christening Of Princess Charlotte Of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge spent the first months of 2021 doing the occasional Zoom call, complaining about how she’s exhausted, and trying to pretend that her life is difficult-yet-relatable because she makes do with a skeleton staff, a full-time videographer, a professional lighting rig, and a full-time, live-in nanny for her children. Nanny Maria has been with the Cambridge family since Prince George was a few months old. Maria is by all accounts the perfect nanny for royal children – she’s one of their constants, she’s always available, she doesn’t leak anything about the family for whom she works. Stories about Nanny Maria are very rare because of that, and because Kate and William seem to want people to forget that they have so much “help” around. So I was curious about this absolutely weird story about what word Nanny Maria will never use.

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—are cared for by one of the U.K.’s most highly trained nannies, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. Borrallo studied at Norland College in Bath, internationally renowned for training childcare experts, and was hired by the Cambridges when oldest child George was a few months old, as the Mirror reports. Outside of lockdown, she typically lives with the family at Kensington Palace, and travels with them on royal tours and private holidays.

According to author Louise Heren, Borrallo’s formal training means there’s one word she’ll probably never say to the Cambridge kids: er, “kids.” Heren, who spent a year at Norland conducting research for a documentary, told the Mirror that the college prohibits the word, instructing its trainees to refer to their charges by their names, or as children. “The word kid is banned. It’s a mark of respect for the children as individuals,” Heren said.

Heren told the Mirror that the Cambridge kids children likely live a fairly normal life at home with their parents and Borrallo—or as normal a life as literal royals could live. “Given what we have seen of Catherine when she is out in public, she’s very hands on,” Heren said. “I imagine her relationship with Maria is very close and they collaborate greatly on the care of the children.”

“I’ve spoken to nannies who have worked with other royal families and life is pretty normal,” the author continued. “You get up, have breakfast, you go to school and you wear your school uniform whether you like it or not.”

[From Marie Claire]

I am… just confused why “kid” would be disrespectful when you’re talking to or about actual children? Sure, calling an adult a “kid” is disrespectful and infantilizing. But would Nanny Maria really never say something like “I’ll get the kids ready for school” or “I’ll fix lunch for the kids”? Does she always say “the children” or does she use their names every time? What a life. I have a feeling that despite what Maria was taught at Norland, she probably is encouraged to be more informal with the Cambridge kids. I feel like Kate has always wanted to raise the kids more like Middletons rather than Windsors.

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The Christening Of Princess Charlotte Of Cambridge

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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123 Responses to “The Cambridges’ nanny Maria Borrallo was taught never to call children ‘kids’??”

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  1. El says:

    I think that may be an old fashioned tradition. When I was growing up, my father was the same way. He said kid referred to a baby goat, not a child.

  2. Cecilia says:

    What the hell was she wearing at charlotte christening?? It looks awful.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      That is the official uniform of a Norland nanny. I kid you not. It is utterly ghastly.

      • Becks1 says:

        It’s weird to me that they have to wear it even though she graduated and has a FT job. Like I had a uniform in HS, I didn’t have to wear it after I graduated, you know? But I assume its kind of a status thing?

      • Lorelei says:

        I know that in Britain it’s considered an honor to wear that uniform since it’s such a prestigious school —I remember a commenter here getting yelled at once a long time ago for calling it ugly, lol — but my god it really is so ugly. Can’t they…update it or something? I hope W&K don’t make her wear it every day.

      • Watson says:

        Lord have mercy. That outfit is hideous. Between dealing with Will and Kate and having to wear this outfit? Clearly this woman needs a raise!!!

      • Nieve says:

        Deliberately so…it never does to have a nanny to look too attractive…:)

      • windyriver says:

        That’s the formal uniform; there’s also a ‘practical’ uniform which is navy slacks and sweater and blue polo (with option baseball cap/beanie/ear warmers), that looks comfortable. Looks like the students routinely wear white gloves during the school day.

        https://2k73g1mjlvobwvwi18nv4p69-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NORLAND-UNIFORM-2020.pdf

        The above picture is from Charlotte’s christening, and apparently raised questions at the time about Nanny Maria and the uniform. Norland had an explanation for continuing with the uniform for students, though they do say graduates generally don’t continue to wear it.

        http://notjustnannytraining.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-do-norland-students-still-wear.html

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        They don’t have to wear the uniform once out and employed. It’s entirely up to the employers to decide what the attire will be. Since having those nannies is a status symbol the uniform is worn with the Cambridge’s. An article came out when Nanny Maria came on about how Kate wanted her to wear the uniform. It was a sugary sanctioned article.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        Thanks for the explanation–I struck me as intense nanny cos-play when I first saw it (the little lapel watch! the hat!)

      • Coldbloodedjellydonut says:

        Ugh, this poor woman! I instantly thought, “trying to put William off the Nanny, huh?” when I saw it. Gross.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        Thanks for the explanation–I struck me as intense nanny cos-play when I first saw it (the little lapel watch! the hat!)

        ETA: The hat has an N on it!!!!!! Is it N for nanny? Okay, it is probably for Norland, but still.

      • Sandra says:

        Ha! You said “kid”. Made me giggle..🙃

      • Nic919 says:

        @lorelei I too recall when we said the Mary poppins cosplay was too much and yet some were eager to defend that outfit. It’s not even a nice uniform and the colour is ugly. But the entire concept was to put nannies in their place and remind them that they are no one of the family.

        Anyway interesting that only Charlotte got the Mary Poppins christening special.

      • Bri says:

        I mean, let’s be honest no new mother wants her nanny to look hot….especially when you’re married to a wandering dong with a sense of entitlement!

    • Emmy Rae says:

      It looks like what a nanny would wear in a movie about a horribly mean English nanny!

    • GrnieWnie says:

      you’d be forgiven for thinking this photo was taken in 1952.

    • BeanieBean says:

      The English do love their uniforms.

    • Kathryn says:

      My reaction exactly – what the heck is she wearing

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Polka dot jacket? IDK, but she looks like she could be Frances McDormand’s half-sister… do you see the similarity? Olive Kitteridge and Marge Gunderson?
      *FMcD fan*

  3. MsIam says:

    That uniform though! Looks like it would scare the kids. Hopefully that’s only for *special* occasions.

  4. MangoAngelesque says:

    Considering that they actually make her wear that hideous tan and brown orthopedic uniform, I cannot fathom a universe where FutureFutureKing and FutureFutureKeenConsort permit any informality towards their little heirs.

    Keeny waity-ed HARD for that entitlement, after all.

    • Züri says:

      I agree. That uniform is a clear relic of 19th century gender and socio-economic hierarchies and for me perfectly reflects the antiquated norms and values the Cambridges espouse.

      • Lorelei says:

        I read somewhere that many families only make the nanny wear the uniform for “special occasions,” but imo that might be worse, since she’s going to be out in public with other people and being photographed — why can’t she just wear a pretty dress? Ugh, these people.

      • Ann says:

        And that’s why I don’t like it. Sure, it’s ugly, but it’s the mere fact that she has to wear it that chaps me. She needs to “know her place,” and apparently everyone else has to know it too.

      • SarahCS says:

        I also wonder if it’s about making it clear she is present as ‘staff’.

      • windyriver says:

        Interestingly, the point of having a uniform when Norland was established just prior to 1900 was to distinguish women who were trained by them “from other household staff as professionals in the family home.” So better than other staff, though not equal to the people who employed them.

        The uniform Nanny Maria wears in the photograph is the old one, they were redesigned in 2013. The dresses look a little better and more modern, but hat, stockings and shoes look the same, and the overall effect of a group together makes me think of the women in the movie The Harvey Girls, or a bunch of servers at a 1960′s HoJo.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Agreed. Also, I don’t think she’s secure enough in her position to be putting her feet down about how her own CHILDREN are raised. She agreed to be a broodmare for royal spawn. The only middle class qualities of her upbringing that will be passed on are those her ridiculously out of touch husband fetishizes or those inadvertent ones she hasn’t managed to scrub and replace like she did with that goofy new accent she acquired.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      You’d be right. The whole narrative of Kate wanting her kids to be normal is just PR.
      The BRF has leaked since early on that Kate and the Midds are more grand than actual aristocracy. Try hard.

  5. JT says:

    Not calling the children kids, sounds like some Scientology nonsense. They are children.

    I think Kate wants to raise the children very formally. Not with George already being singled out as the most special one. Don’t she and Cain have a reputation for being very grand? Even her own sister calls her the Duchess and I’m almost positive that staff are told to curtesy to them or something. Nobody really refers to them as easy going. And didn’t Meghan get blowback for being to informal? For what we know of Kate doing the most to get rid of her middle class ways, including her fake accent, I think she will raise them to be as high falutin as she wishes she was.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ JTm if Keen Doucheness makes her sister call her a duchess, then her outlandish spew of lies continues to grow. I am certain that they have an entire household of staff at every property and as you suggested, they are probably required to curtesy in their vicinity. Keen Doucheness has been dreaming of this Queen consort fir decades and has no intentions of giving up anything, yet alone not insisting on entire households for nannies and staff! She should hire a stylist, but then again, she too ignorant to do that as she looks awful still after all these years.
      In addition, I am certain that she is not the type to be kind to anyone working for them at their properties, once a bully, always a bully!

      • JT says:

        There was a story last week that William was incredibly formal with staff and in general, while Harry was less so. And I am pretty sure W&K making the staff courtesy was in the papers. The most insecure people are often the ones who enjoy status and hierarchy the most. Kate fits this to a tee in my opinion, especially with a mother like CarolE. She’s all about the titles and I just don’t see her raising the kids to be “normal middle class folks” despite their PR. Unfortunately I believe the Cambridge kids will end up just like William and Charles before them.

      • missskitttin says:

        Let’s start a change.org to hire her a stylist, for the love of god! Her outfits are always dowdy, cheap and outdated. She looks 70.

    • Kelly says:

      It’s not just a British thing to avoid calling human children “kids”. I’m in my 60s and an American – I definitely remember grandparents correcting the use of the word “kids”. They said “kids” are baby goats, not human children. And we were NOT upper class.

  6. AA says:

    I have a friend whose husband is English and they lived in the UK for a few years before moving back to the US. She calls her kids “the children” constantly and it sounds very weird to my ear. She also picked up things like calling people “dodgy” and saying “shedule” for “schedule,” but…they lived there for like 2 years and have been back for over 20 years (and her husband became a US citizen). She is American. It comes off as pretentious now. But do people not use the term “the kids” in England?

    • Julia says:

      I was going to say this, I live in London and while I do hear the word kids being used, children is more common. It’s a non story, like writing a whole article about how the say autumn instead of fall – they speak British English, not American English. What a bizarro article

    • Cecilia says:

      Im not british but I think it actually depends on where you live. I think that in general terms yes people call them children, especially in the upperclass circles in london. Im pretty sure that the rest of the UK uses kids sometimes but that children is simply more common. Then you also have plenty of regional differences as the accents change. I know that the terms bairns and wean are also pretty common in the north of the UK (nothern Engeland and Scotland) when referring to a child.

    • L84Tea says:

      A close friend of mine is married to an English man but they have always lived in the US (she met him here). Even she has taken to using phrases like “full stop” and likes to refer to things as “bloody brilliant”. I know it’s all a pretentious act and it makes me want to roll my eyes so hard and remind her she grew up in Florida, not on Bywater Street.

    • fifee says:

      For me its just a very upper class thing to say, maybe middle class folk with grand delusions of their social standing say it too. But yes, they do say ‘the kids’ in the England, I would imagine the same is said in Wales & N.I. but up here in Scotland we say ‘the weans’ …

    • Jaded says:

      I live on Vancouver Island and we have ton of English ex-pats here. It’s funny how British slang and expressions have migrated into the language. We all say “dodgy” and “twat” and other stuff without thinking twice. That being said I once knew a woman who married an English fellow, lived in the UK for 6 months and came back with the FAKEST English accent you ever heard, it was laughable how try-hard she was at talking posh. My mother’s best friend married an Englishman just after WWII, moved there, and when we went to visit them in the 1960′s she had barely a trace of an English accent. Takes all kinds.

      • Ann says:

        My dad’s sister is like that. She grew up in North Carolina. My father had a trace of a southern accent even after years of living in the Northeast, but his sister lived in England for a few years with her (American) professor husband and to this day, decades lates, she speaks with her own peculiar breed of Posh English accent. It’s so grating.

    • A says:

      I’m Indian, as is my family. My parents say “shedule” and “aluminium” rather than the American pronunciations of those words, and I’ve picked that up from that, even though I’ve lived in North America for like, 20 years. I don’t think it’s pretentious or out of the question that your friend might do the same, eventually, from her husband.

  7. (The OG) Jan90067 says:

    I’m sure they consider “kid” to be “common”. As “normal” as Keenie and Incandescent want to be, they above all, want to be “aristos” first and foremost.

    • Kelly says:

      I’m in my sixties. My family is American and NOT upper class, but we were told not to say “kids” because the term was for baby goats. It’s not just an aristo thing, but may be a generational thing. Not sure what current etiquette says.

  8. Helena Handcart says:

    I’m not surprised it’s part of the Norland training – their image is very old school/ retainers to the upper classes, and I imagine they’d see “kids” as not sounding upper-class enough. I’m less convinced by this “respect for the individual” stuff…

    • FicklePickle says:

      Well, it’s not like they can put “our nannies are trained to always be mindful of when they are speaking to their betters and to maintain the level of formality necessary to mentally keep themselves in their place as the staff for decades of loyal, silent service” in the school’s brochure, can they?

  9. Sequinedheart says:

    ‘The children’ isn’t that unusual. Yes, it’s a tad more posh than ‘the kids’ but it’s not out of the ordinary for lots of families to refer to the children.
    That nanny uniform though – yikes. Poor nanny Borrallo! V. Mary Poppins! V. on brand for Waity….

  10. Lorelei says:

    Whatever Nanny Maria is paid, it’s not enough. Not because of the children— they seem adorable— but imagine having to constantly deal with William and Kate (and probably Carole)? I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.

    • Noki says:

      I would actually love to know how much the nanny and other house hold help gets paid. I hear the people who work in the palace offices get s@$t pay so I can imagine ‘lesser skilled’ positions are really bad.

      • Sofia says:

        Norland Nannies (which Maria is) can get paid quite nicely especially in comparison to the rest of the staff.

    • Aphra says:

      Would LOVE to know. Hope it’s a fortune!

    • North of Boston says:

      Plus do they even have any sort of life? Or does their life revolve around their charges / employers 24 x 7.

      Makes me think it’s not the RF who are the ones committed to a “life of service”

    • February-Pisces says:

      I think her bond with the children is what keeps her there. Otherwise I‘m sure she would have bailed like the rest of their staff. I’m glad she is still there though, I think the kids, oops sorry I meant ‘children’ really need her. I just hope she has an actual life outside of her job, I bet the Keens demand 100% of her time.

  11. Becks1 says:

    So she travels with them even on private holidays, but we’re supposed to believe Kate is super hands on?

    (I do think Kate is more hands on than the queen was for sure, but I think if most of us saw her daily life we would not consider her especially hands on, you know?)

    • Cecilia says:

      I thought i was the only one that thought it was weird. Why do you need a nanny when you are on holiday and have your hands completely free? That doesn’t make sense

    • Lorelei says:

      @Becks right? I wonder when she gets time off. IIRC her family is in Spain, and does she have weeknights off to be able to just, idk, do normal things like go to a movie or whatever with her girlfriends? Does she even have any friends there, or is Norfolk kind of in the middle of nowhere? And I wonder if she dates. Now that I’m thinking about it, it must be a very strange life. Not necessarily in a negative way, but just so different.

      • ennie says:

        I knew some people who worked at a resort in a sort of private natural reserve, and the life they made was with their coworkers, and the pay was quite good. I still think the moral code for the nanny of these kids might be high, so, no dating among your coworkers, I guess.
        Maybe social life among your coworkers, maybe a day off, but when they are in the country? I think she goes on holidays, to manage the kids for them.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Becks1: Kate’s version of hands on parenting is going for walks or swimming with the children and doing the occasional baking. Everything else is most likely done by Maria.

    • Slake says:

      Honestly as someone with older and younger children a nanny sounds great on vacation. There are activities appropriate for older kids and younger kids, and only one parent can participate with them. To be able to say “Nanny is going to take you to the beach while mommy and daddy go do X with other child” sounds amazing.

  12. Lucy says:

    Is that her everyday nanny outfit? Or her special occasion nanny outfit, I’m not sure that’s better. The hat alone!
    I’m glad the kids have someone consistent in their lives who isn’t distracted by having to run smear campaigns and freezing out rivals.
    I hope she’s treated well and is well compensated.

    • Scal says:

      That was for when she was in front of the queen at charlottes christening. There are tab pictures of her out and about with the kids and she’s usually in jeans or khakis.

  13. Lanagen says:

    Having a whole ass live-in nanny who wears a gd (ugly) uniform – yes how terribly normal.

  14. Noki says:

    These nannies basicly dedicate their whole lives to their profession dont they,do they have a life outside of this ‘prestigious’ nanny club. No kids,no marriage they are like nuns. I remember William wanted HIS childhood nanny to take care of George but she was too old.

  15. Addy says:

    I think the uniforms are purposely designed to be ugly so Willy leaks and the like won’t get “too close” to the nannies.

  16. Ersatz says:

    American people struggling with the fact that other countries have different cultures…

    • Jaded says:

      Having a nanny is just as common amongst wealthy Americans and Canadians – we’re just more informal about it.

      • Ann says:

        We don’t make them wear uniforms.

      • Kate says:

        There are many, many families in the US who make the nanny wear a uniform and follow all sorts of arbitrary rules. Just look at the nannying industry in New York. People will fight tooth and nail, pay insane amounts of money to agencies and break employment and immigration laws to get whatever the latest fad in nannying is. From making French nannies dress like Madeline and fake a whole ‘French’ personality that bears no resemblance to the actual culture to exclusively hiring Tibetan nannies who are expected to carry themselves more like a spiritual guru than someone tasked with wrangling children.

    • Nic919 says:

      Nah just commenting on the classism of the British royals who had no problem setting up slavery and genocide around the world. But go on and pretend the Mary Poppins cosplay is normal.

  17. purplewings says:

    I believe ‘kids’, in some countries or social circles, is considered slang for children. It’s actual meaning ‘young goat’.

  18. ennie says:

    I understand when you have a call in life, but, for example, this woman Maria, is her whole life to be a nanny to these children? , like, Is her own life in hold because she is dedicated to her job?

    • AMJ says:

      That’s how it looks like. When would she have time to even regularly date? What a lonely life. For nuns, their fellow nuns are family. For nannies, the people she dedicates her life to are employers. It seems sad all around

    • Becks1 says:

      That’s what I keep thinking as I look at these pictures. It seems her life is the Cambridges, what is she going to do when they grow up, move on to another family? Does she have any kind of social life?

      I have had friends who have had nannies, both live-in and not, and its just a job for them. they still have their own lives, nights off, they dont work every weekend, etc.

  19. CoffeeNYC says:

    I’m sorry but every time I see pictures or videos of this nanny and it’s rare. She looks so tired and beat up. 😖

  20. Amy Bee says:

    Why did Kate make her wear that ugly uniform to Charlotte’s christening? I’ve only a short video of Kate pushing the pram after the christening and it was comical. The scene was just out of place given it was 2015.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      That’s the official Norland uniform. Surely someone with that much training knows it’s not acceptable to sleep with the father and doesn’t need an outfit designed specifically to make you look unappealing. Mary Poppins looked attractive and was very professional.

      • FicklePickle says:

        In those circles it’s not about the staff knowing not to sleep with the father, it’s about making sure the father doesn’t want to sleep with the staff. And no, consent or lack thereof on the part of the employee does not really figure into these questions for these people.

  21. Well Wisher says:

    It is British in its origins. They are called children. Candy is called sweetie. Santa Clause is Father Christmas. Sidewalk is pavement. Soccer is football. The British wording persists in the Caribbean. In an proper high school, girls are refered to as Miss Smith eg. In situations where married couples who are working in the environment, the husband will refer to his wife as Mrs. Smith. New friends have to gain permission to use someone’s first name. It is culture specific, based on societial influences rather than economics.

    • Lizzie says:

      In the US my teachers – nuns made a big deal about it, kids are goats not children. But I’m old so maybe they don’t anymore.

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t care if people in the UK in general say kids or children (I’m American and I use both pretty interchangeably), but its the idea that Norland “forbids” use of the word “kids” that is strange to me.

    • Sucy&Sassy says:

      Well Wisher, I agree with many others about the fact that the “kid” discussion around the 1950′s & 1960′s. I don’t know beyond that. The “Miss” part–yes when I was in grade school, I was referred to as Miss. But that was by the Principal and Vice-Principal, and not my teachers (public school). I think on the whole kids have become a much more common way to refer to children in the US. I’ve come to think of it was a bit of a class issue. The upper class(es) use children more consistently. Good for them. I’ve come to consider that it could be rather a bit snobbish? Does anyone else view this similarly?

  22. Kate says:

    I wonder if it’s a British thing? My mother is British and I was also raised not to use the word kid. It was just improper in my house. Kids were baby goats.

  23. ladystrangelove says:

    The term ‘kids’ in the UK refers to goats (as in, the animal; here in Britain we use ‘children’. This isn’t generational or anything to do with class. It’s the British Anglicised term for what North Americans call children. I’m half British, half Canadian so am used to hearing both versions depending on which side of the family I’m with.

  24. Cee says:

    Wait till you guys learn that a nanny in Spain is a kangaroo and in LatAm she is a niñera!

    Just because it is the same language doesn’t mean words have the same meaning.
    However, I can just imagine Carole’s tantrums at hearing a nanny refer to her special grandchildren as young goats lol

  25. florencia says:

    Sounds less like an issue of respect (not sure how kid is somehow less respectful than child, I’d argue that kids hate it more when they’re referred to as a child, at least here in the US) and more like one of snobbishness. I guess royal children are too posh to just be kids.

  26. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It’s too informal. And if they adhere to banning that informality, it says a whole lot. So absurd.

  27. Ann says:

    You know, my mother always says “children” rather than kids. She isn’t English but was raised in a rather formal household, very southern, taught to be ladylike, etc. I think she just thinks it sounds too slangy. She’s not snobby, just kind of proper.

  28. Nocturne says:

    Not calling children ‘kids’ is a class thing. When Tony Blair was PM he was publicly criticized for calling his children kids because it just wasn’t the done thing. The whole idea of showing respect by referring to them as children, in my opinion, is bullshit and just a cover for snobbishness. Norland knows who they market their graduates to and this is exactly what appeals to the wealthy people who employ them.

    • Lizzie says:

      It was also a teacher thing back when I was in school.

    • Lady Strangelove says:

      It is not a class thing in Britain; the term ‘kids’ refers to goats (as in, the animal). The British term is ‘children’ – ‘kids’ is an informality used by some people in the same way as ‘Santa’ which was brought over from North America instead of ‘Father Christmas’, which is traditionally British. For very many British people, ‘kids’ is actually seen as a derogatory term.

  29. Lizzie says:

    I guess Tiggy didn’t go to that school.

  30. Merricat says:

    A nanny goat looks after kids.

  31. L4frimaire says:

    I guess that’s interesting but does this woman have a personal life or family and home of her own? Like is she with them all the time and does she have to wear that hideous uniform every day?

  32. Brittney B says:

    I don’t use that word either, but I know language is evolving & it’s an inherited hang-up. “My kid” always sounds incredibly cold & dismissive to me. I equate it with disrespect too.

  33. Vanessabee says:

    My mother also would not use the word ‘kid” and insisted we use ‘’children.” She said a kid was a baby goat.

  34. Elizabeth Phillips says:

    I worked as a nanny for several years. I didn’t go to a training school, so didn’t have to wear a hideous-making uniform, and when we went out in public was expected to dress attractively but comfortably. And I wouldn’t have been caught dead in public without lipstick.

    I used words like “kids” and was treated like a member of the family and we’re all still in touch. All four of the boys I took care of have turned out well, happy, and successful at their jobs.

  35. Robin says:

    My kids’ grandad is like this – no “kids” and no shortened names (bear in mind, this is an elderly Englishman who answers his home phone with a bellowing “good morning/afternoon/evening” and not a “hello”). The thing is, either is fine, I think, and I use both. But I would never ever say “kiddies”, which is what Kate said to a member of the crowd round about when Meghan was first pregnant. Apologies to anyone who uses it, but I hate it. In the UK it is like nails down the blackboard of class, and is considered lower and naff for people who mind this kind of thing. Essentially, class over here is a minefield, stupidly so, and Kate finds it difficult. It was very natural for her to say “kiddies”, which is perfectly OK, but that means it is obviously common amongst her family and with her mum, who must have been livid at the betrayal of Kate calling one’s children “kiddies” !!!!

    • Aidevee says:

      I’m really sorry, but I have to disagree – I’m British and a bit posh – honestly, kids and children are pretty interchangeable and not really a particular indicator of class at all. Age, perhaps, but not class.

      What is a huge class giveaway with aristos here are people who are hyper aware of what words they use and therefore appear a bit try-hard. Posh British people can spot that a mile off and it gives them the shivers. Ditto fancy cars, bling and other signs of obvious wealth and display.

      The ‘kiddies’ thing wouldn’t have been noticed at all, really.

      Somebody loudly braying about how children should never be kids because it’s unseemly would set off all their nouveau-riche early warning systems.

      It’s all very silly!!

      • Robin says:

        It really got to me, which is, as you say, silly. Ex prep and boarding school and of a certain background, so, yes, hands up, I’d say “a bit” posh. I prefer “kids” to children. But “kiddies” is something else. Arghh. Sorry and apologies!

      • Robin says:

        I’d also like to add that there is inherent snobbery in old money, which I fully recognise in myself and others. My “posh” family and friends are on the spectrum of low key to scruffy, with cars to match. There is, as you say, a distaste for bling cars and outfits, including tip top school kits and parental clothing, but it is sometimes as obviously underdone as the opposite is overdone. At a more nuanced level, there are the shared eye rolls and glances when we hear poshed-up accents and affectations. “Kiddies” may be an age-related issue, but it is therefore a class one, if only by association with that kind of family. It is essentially this established-money silliness about certain words, and by extension behaviour, which led us to pull our kids out of certain schools, go against certain family traditions, and put them into state. One of the best things we’ve ever done. I don’t want our children finding other people’s words, accents or behaviour distasteful, as we are inclined to do sometimes. It is nonsense.

    • A says:

      You know, I actually really like the idea of picking up the phone and greeting people with good morning/afternoon/evening!!! I might start doing that myself, LOL. I really hate talking on the phone, and whenever I have to pick up and say hello, I honestly cringe a bit inside bc I something think I sound like a dumb*ss. Good morning/afternoon/evening sounds much more confident somehow, like you know wtf you’re doing with your life. Your kids’ grandfather might be on to something.

  36. Emily_C says:

    These people belong in the 19th century. Those poor kids.

  37. WithTheAmerican says:

    Why isn’t their nanny young and playful and pretty like Tiggy was. They told us how that was so normal so why isn’t it happening now.

    A young pretty female friend of Williams should surely be nanny!

  38. Sabotage says:

    Why is this a story?

  39. Dillunn says:

    FWIW, I have friends who studied at Norland College, and they are some of the druggiest people I know (at weekends and festivals).

  40. JanetDR says:

    I’m very late to comment today, but just had to add my two cents. Professionally, I speak of children in meetings, conferences, etc. (I’m a preschool speech pathologist in the US). My co-workers and I refer to our “kiddos” in casual conversation to distinguish from our actual children/kids. It makes sense to me that a Norland Nanny would keep things very professional.
    I feel like the uniform would be very improved if it were gray, navy or black!

  41. Lulu says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the original intent of those uniforms was to help them avoid being harassed by men in the home, back in the days where people thought you could dress your way out of harassment.

  42. Bella says:

    Not upper class nor “just” British English. I know more than a hand full of people who only use children for much the same reasons as said up-thread. They are solidly middle class and in their 40s. And these aren’t people trying to be pretentious, but is just how they are. I use kids and don’t often use children but I understands how things can be when that is how you were brought up

  43. Rianic says:

    That actually sounds very Montessori.