Prince William has canceled a series of events to attend the funeral of his beloved former nanny on Wednesday. Olga Powell, 82, died of a heart attack on her doorstep in Hertfordshire last month.
Powell cared for William and his brother Harry for 15 years. She helped raise them from infants to teenagers, and saw them through turbulent times that included the divorce of their parents and the death of their mother, Princess Diana.Slideshow: Life of Prince William (on this page)
“Given the significant role that Mrs. Powell played in the princes’ lives, the Duke wished to pay his respects in person,” a spokesman at St. James’ Palace told the U.K. Telegraph.
Duchess Kate will carry out royal appearances in the northeast of England while her husband attends the funeral privately. Presumably William will be passing on the condolences of Harry, who cannot attend because he is serving with the British military in Afghanistan.
The princes’ former nanny remained in touch with them in their adult lives and was invited to major events, including the royal wedding and William’s passing-out parade at Sandhurst in 2006. During an interview she gave last year before the royal wedding, Powell said she was still close to both princes, who “were just like any other children.’’
“I have a very normal relationship with them," she told the Hertfordshire Mercury. "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,” she added.Slideshow: The lives of princes (on this page)
Duchess Kate will now attend Wednesday events in Newcastle and Stockton-on-Tees on her own.
On Tuesday, William and Kate had a busy day opening the new national training complex for England’s Football Association.
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