Everyone knows who Diana Spencer is. Even after her passing, she is remembered by several titles including the Princess of Wales, Lady Di, The People’s Princess, and mom to her two sons. Despite her short-lived life, Diana’s elegance, humility, and kindness resonated with everyone.
But before she ascended to royalty and won the hearts of the masses, not many people know that Princess Diana actually worked as a nanny when she was a teen. She earned a modest $5 an hour for her services, helping this busy American businesswoman care for her toddler son.
Princess Diana Works as Nanny for American Businesswoman
Mary Robertson was an American businesswoman working in London back in the year 1980. She needed a little help in taking care of her young son, Patrick, so she contacted a local agency. The agency sent over a then 18-year-old Diana Spencer.
Robertson had no idea that the quiet and shy teenager she just hired was part of an aristocratic family. In fact, Diana chose not to mention it herself. She continued to go on with her duties as a nanny, which included picking up toys, doing the laundry, and accompanying Patrick when his mom was away.
“We never knew until much later on that she had a title or personal wealth. She just came along as a normal part-time nanny,” Robertson told the Chicago Tribune shortly after Diana’s untimely passing.
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Robertson found out that she had just hired an aristocrat when she stumbled upon a deposit slip from Diana’s bank under the couch. The deposit was directed to Coutts and Company, a bank which exclusively caters to aristocrats and members of the royal family. Robertson, having several years of experience in finance under her belt, put two and two together and finally realized that her nanny was actually part of one of the most prominent families in the country.
As soon as Robertson confronted Lady Diana about it, she reacted like it was no big deal and asked if she was allowed to take Patrick out for a walk. Diana would go on to continue her duties. She showed up three days a week at Robertson’s house and then worked as a nursery school teacher for the rest of the week.
Diana would eventually submit her notice a few months later when she began dating Prince Charles, the future king of England. Robertson recalled how Diana once warned her about the reporters and photographers that would start showing up on her doorstep.
“She said, ‘When you leave for work this morning, there are reporters and photographers at the end of the street.’ I asked, ‘Who are they there for?’ She said, ‘They are there for me,'” Robertson said in an interview with Inside Edition.
When Diana left, Robertson thought that was the last they heard of her. But that was not the case at all. The two kept in touch even after Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles. They spoke through letters for a total of sixteen years. Diana would often speak about coming to visit but never really got the chance to. A tearful Robertson stated that she did not see all this as “little cries of help.”
After Diana died from a car accident on August 31, 1997, Robertson was one of the thousands of mourners who showed up at her funeral in Westminster Abbey. To this day, she continues to remember Diana for being the extraordinary young woman she was.