Princess Diana Fired Prince William and Prince Harry’s Nanny and Banned Her From Contacting Them Ever Again

Though she had no idea what she was getting into when she married Prince Charles when she was just 19, Princess Diana changed the British royal family forever. Since she had a challenging childhood, the princess was determined that her sons would not suffer the same fate.

In the final years of her life following her separation and subsequent divorce from Prince Charles, Princess Diana spoke candidly about how difficult it was for her to find her voice in the royal family. She often felt isolated, ignored, and alone. However, when it came to vocalizing her needs and desires for her sons, the Princess of Wales made sure to speak up.

It turns out, that she once one of Prince William and Prince Harry‘s nannies and barred her from ever contacting them again.

Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the piano in Kensington Palace | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana wanted Prince William and Prince Harry to have normal childhoods

Knowing that her sons were born into a wealth of privilege, the princess was determined to show them all aspects of life. She instilled within them a desire to help others. She also took them on fun vacations and they visited amusement parks and even fast-food restaurants. Prince William and Prince Harry have always described their mother as fun.

When she and Prince Charles embarked on lengthy royal tours, they ignored previous protocol, bringing their sons with them. Princess Diana also advocated for them to go to public schools so they could socialize with other children outside of the royal fold. In 1995, she told Martin Bashir for BBC’s Panorama,

With William and Harry, for instance, I take them round homelessness projects, I’ve taken William and Harry to people dying of Aids – albeit I told them it was cancer – I’ve taken the children to all sorts of areas where I’m not sure anyone of that age in this family has been before. And they have a knowledge – they may never use it, but the seed is there, and I hope it will grow because knowledge is power.

Prince William of Wales in the arms of his nanny Barbara Barnes arrives at Gatwick Airport after a 27-hour, 13,000-mile journey from New Zealand in a Boeing 747. The 10-month old Prince had just ended a six-week holiday in Australia and New Zealand where his parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, had enjoyed a tour of the two countries. They were now on their way to a 10-day holiday in the Bahamas
Prince William of Wales in the arms of his nanny Barbara Barnes arrives at Gatwick Airport after a 27-hour, 13,000-mile journey from New Zealand in a Boeing 747. The 10-month old Prince had just ended a six-week holiday in Australia and New Zealand where his parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, had enjoyed a tour of the two countries. They were now on their way to a 10-day holiday in the Bahamas | PA Images via Getty Images

RELATED: 15 Forgotten Secrets About Princess Diana’s Unstable Childhood

Princess Diana thought Prince Harry and Prince William’s nanny was ‘too possessive’

With an intense royal schedule, Princess Diana and Prince Charles did have nannies to help them with their sons. However, the princess and one particular nanny had a ton of friction. According to royal historian Robert Lacey’s new biography Battle of Brothers via Tatler, Princess Diana felt the princes’ beloved nanny Barbara “Baba” Barnes was “too possessive.” He wrote,

Barbara guarded the nursery floor like the Vatican… It was her kingdom. [She] became something of a surrogate mother teaching them to walk, talk, and read. Barnes also comforted them when they awoke crying in the night,

Called Baba by Prince Harry and Prince William, Barnes even took them on their own vacation to Scotland and the Isles of Scilly without their parents. However, people began whispering that Barnes was getting too possessive of the boys which Princess Diana began to agree with.

Prince Harry (Prince Henry of Wales, Henry Charles Albert David) is born at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London, UK, Prince William and nanny Barbara Barnes leave the hospital after visiting the royal baby, 16th September 1984
Prince Harry (Prince Henry of Wales, Henry Charles Albert David) is born at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK, Prince William and nanny Barbara Barnes leave the hospital after visiting the royal baby, 16th September 1984 | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Princess Diana fired her sons’ nanny and banned her from contacting them

The last straw for Princess Diana came in 1986 when Barnes traveled “to attend the birthday party of her former employer, the ever-flamboyant Lord Glenconner, on his Caribbean island of Mustique.” While at the soiree Barnes was photographed with Raquel Welch and Princess Margaret. Princess Diana felt that she’d gotten “above herself.”

When Barnes returned to the U.K., Princess Diana had already informed the staff that “that the nanny’s bags should be packed and all trace of her removed.” Barnes was forbidden from contacting the princes’ again. According to Lacey, Prince William and Prince Harry felt that Barnes had “just vanished into thin air.”