Royal insider says it’s been ‘impossible’ for Archie to see family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new life in California strikes a dramatic contrast with the life led by the remaining senior royals behind Palace walls. With their new sprawling mansion in the isolated community of Montecito, Santa Barbara, the couple are finally able to raise their son Archie Harrison as the “private citizen” they always hoped he would be. From his birth, the Sussexes made it clear he would not be following the usual royal route for the Queen’s great-grandchildren and rejected the offer of any title for their newborn son.
Although surprising, this was not an unprecedented move — Princess Anne, the Queen’s second child and only daughter, also declined to reward titles to her two children because she wanted them to live a more normal life.
This is also not the first child-rearing move Harry has copied from his aunt and her first husband, Mark Phillips.
The Sussexes decided to veer away from the royal tradition of employing a nanny from Norland College, the prestigious nanny-training school which has provided staff to the Royal Family since 1892.
Anne and her ex-husband Mark Phillips decided to ditch the more familiar figures as nannies to their two children, Peter and Zara, as well.
In his book, ‘Princess Anne’, biographer Nicholas Courtney explained: “Like most of the ‘old guard’ nannies, the royal ones are used to moving around within the family and caring for the new generation.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie Harrison and Princess Anne
Harry and Meghan copied the tactics used by Anne and Mark to raise their children
“The faithful ‘Alla’ (Clare Knight) who was nanny to the later Strathmore children and in particular Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the Queen Mother, was recalled from a sister when she in turn needed a nanny for her children.
“When Princess Anne needed a nanny for Peter, her former nanny, Mabel Anderson, was available.”
However, The Sun newspaper reported that there was a “blazing row” between Anne and her nanny, leading to Ms Anderson walking out.
Mr Courtney continued: “Whatever the truth of the story, she was replaced by a non-royal nanny, taking the Phillips children yet one step further outside the royal sphere of influence.
“Princess Anne is particularly keen to spare her children the glare of public attention.”
Harry and Meghan also struggled with their UK-based nannies shortly after Archie’s birth.
Princess Anne with her two children, Peter and Zara
Harry copied his aunt and cousins by avoiding a royal nanny for Archie
The pro-Sussex biography ‘Finding Freedom’ claimed: “Meghan and Harry felt they were forced to let the nurse go in the middle of her second night of work for being unprofessional.
“The new parents went on to hire a second night nurse, who did a fine job but because of the incident with the first nurse, neither found themselves comfortable sleeping through the night without going to check on Archie regularly.
“After a few weeks, they decided to take on nights themselves and went without a night nurse entirely.”
They eventually hired a nanny to work just weekdays, although decided not to have any live-in staff.
Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand alleged: “Harry had seen that situation at Prince William’s home (the Cambridges had a live-in housekeeper and a full-time live-in nanny) and didn’t want the same for his own family.”
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Meghan and Harry have always intended to raise Archie away from the royal spotlight
The Sussexes wanted to raise Archie as a private citizen
Archie’s cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, still have a Norland-trained nanny today, called Maria Borrallo.
In comparison, the Sussexes’ third nanny’s identity has been kept secret, although the member of staff has been seen accompanying the couple when they went on holiday.
It’s not known if the Sussexes still use a nanny now in California, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is said to also support the couple a great deal with Archie’s upbringing.
The Cambridges hired a Norland-trained nanny for their three children
Although Anne clearly showed she wanted her children to live away from the royal spotlight, she remained close to the Queen.
She, her children and her grandchildren live on her Gloucestershire estate, Gatcombe, just 85 miles from Windsor Castle, and she maintains regular contact with her mother.
In contrast, Archie has also not been in the UK since November 2019, when he was just five months old — even though he is seventh-in-line to the throne after his father.
‘Princess Anne: A Biography’ by Nicholas Courtney was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 1986 and is available here.
— to www.express.co.uk