September 15 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The funeral was held today for a woman who was from north Suffolk and went on to become the royal nanny to Prince William and Prince Harry for 15 years.
Olga Powell, who was the oldest of three children from Mutford, near Lowestoft and whose original surname was Catchpole, cared for the princes when they were young boys including the difficult period when their parents’ marriage was breaking up in the early 1990s.
Mrs Powell died last month at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack at her home in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.
She worked as a royal nanny from the 1980s until the early 1990s.
Mrs Powell was 52 and recently widowed when she came to work for Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles when Prince William was six months old.
She accompanied Diana, Princess of Wales and her children on trips around the world including to the Caribbean and skiing in Austria.
The Duke of Cambridge attended Mrs Powell’s funeral today in Harlow, Essex.
His brother could not attend as he is serving in the Army Air Corps as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.
During an interview Mrs Powell gave last year she said: “I have a very normal relationship with them. Their upbringing was very normal and their parents wanted them to have as ordinary a childhood as they could.
“If they saw a muddy puddle they wanted to jump in it and if there was something to climb, they wanted to climb it.”
A St James’s Palace spokesman said: “Given the significant role that Mrs Powell played in the Princes’ lives, the Duke wished to pay his respects in person.”
The former nanny remained in touch with the royal brothers and was reportedly invited to a number of major events in their lives including the royal wedding and Prince William’s passing-out parade at Sandhurst in 2006.