Kate Middleton and Prince William's Real-Life Mary Poppins! Get to Know Royal Nanny Maria

·4 min read
Prince George's nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo (in her Norland Nanny Uniform) talks to Queen Elizabeth II as they leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England.
Prince George's nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo (in her Norland Nanny Uniform) talks to Queen Elizabeth II as they leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England.

Chris Jackson/Getty Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo and Queen Elizabeth

While Kate Middleton and Prince William are hands-on parents to their three children, they also have the help of their trusted nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Borrallo has been a key part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's household since their son Prince George, now 9, was just 8 months old. She also helped raise Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, while living with the family at their Kensington Palace home.

However, Kate and Prince William are making Adelaide Cottage on Queen Elizabeth's Windsor estate their new home base — and it comes with a major change. With four bedrooms, Borrallo is expected to live at another property while remaining a caretaker for the Cambridge kids.

RELATED: Inside the Secret Life of Royal Nannies

Maria Teresa Borrallo (nanny to Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge) attends the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mark's Church on May 20, 2017 in Englefield Green, England.
Maria Teresa Borrallo (nanny to Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge) attends the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mark's Church on May 20, 2017 in Englefield Green, England.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo

Borrallo was born in Spain and studied at U.K.'s Norland College, which prides itself on being the first educational establishment to offer childcare training. There, students are taught everything from child brain development to first aid to evasive driving techniques.

Borrallo made her first public appearance after becoming a royal nanny when she joined Prince William and Kate during their 2014 tour of New Zealand and Australia. Prince George was just 9 months old at the time, and Nanny Maria was on-hand to care for him while the couple took on their royal duties.

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Theodora Williams, (accompanied by Princess Charlotte's nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo) attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Theodora Williams, (accompanied by Princess Charlotte's nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo) attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Max Mumby/Getty Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo with Princess Charlotte

Since then, Borrallo often joins the family on their travels, whether they are spending a weekend at their country home of Anmer Hall or Kate and William are heading on a royal tour with their children in tow.

Borrallo can often be spotted at royal events such as Trooping the Colour, where she might be seen peeking out the Buckingham Palace window with the children, or royal weddings, where she helps keep the young bridesmaids and page boys on their best royal behavior.

Prince George of Cambridge is held by his nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo as he waves from the window of Buckingham Palace as he watches the Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 13, 2015 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century, when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle.
Prince George of Cambridge is held by his nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo as he waves from the window of Buckingham Palace as he watches the Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 13, 2015 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century, when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle.

Chris Jackson/Getty Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo with Prince George

Perhaps her most well-known appearance came at Princess Charlotte's christening in 2015. Nanny Maria appeared alongside Prince William, Kate, Prince George and Queen Elizabeth to celebrate the family's new addition. She was sporting her Norland College uniform, a brown dress with a bowler hat, and drew comparisons to the world's most famous fictional nanny, Mary Poppins.

According to the college's website, founder Emily Ward — who established the school in 1892 — introduced the uniform so that Norland Nurses (as the graduates were originally known) would be recognized as professionals and "not mistaken for housemaids."

"Maria loves the children dearly," a source previously told PEOPLE. "She can be firm and strict, but she is very loving and soft with them too."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George's nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George's nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England.

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo at Princess Charlotte's christening

Above all, Borrallo possesses the key skill of a modern royal nanny: the ability to always be present when needed but never to overstep.

"In the past, royal nannies were employed almost entirely on the basis of referrals from the extended royal family and British aristocracy," says Carolyn Harris, author of Raising Royalty. "Today, royal nannies need to strike a delicate balance between providing care and emotional support for their charge while not being seen to interfere with the decision-making of royal parents."

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Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (wearing the uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards) watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 2, 2022 in London, England.
Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (wearing the uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards) watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 2, 2022 in London, England.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

Royal parents historically often relied on nannies while they carried out their public duties — when Prince Charles and Princess Anne were young, they were only able to see their monarch mother at two appointed "meetings" each day. Even when Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born in the 1960s, it was a "nanny-dominated world," biographer Ingrid Seward previously told PEOPLE.

However, Princess Diana made sure to take a hands-on approach with her boys, even bringing a nearly 1-year-old William on tour, a first for a royal baby.

Kate and Prince William, both 40, have followed Diana's lead. They try to maintain privacy and normality for their children, including ordinary trips to the supermarket or snacking from the trunk of the car while William plays polo.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 05: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 05: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

Prince William is "very much the modern dad," according to Seward. He makes sure to practice "active listening" by squatting down to his children's eye level when speaking with them — a move that inspired actress Anne Hathaway to do the same.

Meanwhile, Kate "runs things at home with the kids and the schedules," a friend told PEOPLE. "She is hugely involved in every single part of their day."