It is understood that Kate, 37, did not attend the Tusk Conservation Awards in London, because one of her children was not feeling well and Kate felt she needed to stay behind when no one else could step in.
It’s unprecedented in the royal family for anyone to cancel because of childcare issues, but it was perhaps inevitable, given that William and Kate have chosen to hire just one nanny, Maria Borrallo, to help look after their children.
The couple shunned royal tradition of having a team of nannies on hand, meaning that if Maria is unwell or on leave there is no back-up.
A similar problem could arise for Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, who also employ just one nanny to help look after six-month-old Archie Harrison.
Etiquette expert William Hanson told Femail: ‘The trappings of royal life aside, William and Catherine, Harry and Meghan, have the same issues that many parents have and occasionally childcare issues rear their head.
‘Compared to previous generations, raising royal children now does not come with fleets of nannies.’
Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton’s, 37, hands-on parenting and stripped back staff could be the reason behind Kate’s absence at an evening awards event last night. Pictured: Maria with the Cambridges and the Queen at Princess Charlotte’s christening in July 2015
A similar issue could arise for Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, who appear to have just one nanny who does not live with them at Frogmore Cottage (pictured here, on tour in South Africa)
It’s believed that Harry and Meghan’s nanny, who has not been named, is called on when they need her, but does not live with the couple at Frogmore Cottage.
Meanwhile, Kate and William’s nanny Maria does reside with the couple at Kensington Palace, but the pair are known to be hands-on parents who purposefully hired only one helper, rather than a team.
The couple initially said they didn’t want to hire a nanny at all, before taking on Norland-trained Maria Borrallo in 2014 when Prince George was eight-months-old.
They also make a point of doing the school run themselves, despite their busy schedules.
Kate pictured at the event, which was held shortly before a Kensington Palace spokesperson announced the Duchess would not attend the formal awards ceremony ‘due to the children’
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Who is the Cambridges’ nanny Maria Borrallo?
The Cambridges’ most prominent nanny is Maria Borrallo, who joined the royal household in 2014 when Prince George was just eight months old.
Originally from Spain, Ms Borrallo lives at Kensington Palace with the family.
Ms Borrallo trained at the prestigious Norland College which has been producing childminders for the rich and famous since 1892.
The institution’s students are known for their distinctive uniforms and are schooled in all aspects of looking after youngsters during their three-year degree course.
The training costs £36,000 in total and the college in Bath recently added martial arts training and stunt driving to its curriculum to cater for modern clients – many of whom are celebrities and the super-rich.
Tae Kwon-Do is believed to be the martial art of choice – which has been specially adapted to include how to dodge a potential kidnapped with a pram.
Nannies are also trained in how to deal with paparazzi and are taken to Castle Combe Racing Circuit in Wiltshire to perfect their driving skills and learn how to drive at high speed in any weather condition.
It’s in stark contrast to royal tradition of hiring a team of nursery staff who would effectively raise the children.
Prince Charles, for instance, had two main nannies, Helen Lightbody and Mabel Anderson. The Queen was not present at his first three birthdays.
Rosemary Albone, a Norland-educated nanny and adviser to Care.com, has previously suggested that Prince Charles received ‘critical emotional support’ from his nanny in his early childhood.
She revealed: ‘Just like his mother, Prince Charles was supported by his nanny, Mabel Anderson, when his parents went on a six month tour when he was three years old. He credited his nanny for providing critical emotional support in his early childhood years and beyond.’
Princess Diana famously wanted Prince Harry and William to have as normal an upbringing as possible.
She was determined to do a lot of the day-to-day child care and chose to take her sons with her on royal tours instead of leaving them at home.
However, even Diana had more than one person to help look after her children, with both a head nanny and deputies on her staff.
She and Prince Charles first hired Barbara Barnes to lead the childcare for the boys, with the nanny travelling with the royal family to Australia when Prince William was one year old.
They went on to hire Olga Powell, who was initially ‘deputy nanny’ and then took over once Barbara moved on.
She was described as loving but strict, and stayed with the royal family for 15 years, supporting them through tumultuous events.
Her firm but caring presence supported Princes William and Harry throughout their formative years, and she made sure that their feet remained firmly on the ground.
Prince William and Prince Harry were famously close to their nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who Prince Charles hired after his divorce to Princess Diana
Their relationship remained strong with William cancelling an appearance so that he was able to attend her funeral in October 2012.
William and Harry’s nannies would have been expected to teach them both manners and appropriate behaviours including how to bow to the Queen and Queen Mother
After Princess Diana split from Prince Charles, the boys grew famously close to another of their nannies Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
Prince Harry has remained friendly with Tiggy, who did not wear a uniform while looking after Prince Harry and Prince William.
In 1996 at the age of 13, William pointedly asked his parents not to attend Eton’s Fourth of June celebrations, inviting Tiggy instead.
Tiggy has attended many of the main events in Harry’s life, and was also among the few guests known to attend Prince Harry and Meghan’s son Archie’s christening, sparking rumours she could have been chosen as a godmother.
Prince Harry was particularly close to Tiggy, inviting her to his passing out ceremony,
However Princess Diana was said to find the relationship between her sons and the nanny difficult.
Trained at the prestigious Norland College, Borrallo lives at Kensington Palace with the family, but she was seemingly unable to look after the children last night.
By comparison, Prince Harry and Meghan are already onto their third nanny since the birth of baby Archie in May.
The couple are said to have found a good match with their current nanny, who is yet to be officially named.
The first nanny employed by the couple was reportedly not kept on over reports she was ‘unprofessional’, and the second was only employed to work night shifts.
Prince Charles’ was supported by his nanny, Mabel Anderson, throughout his formative years and has credited her with providing critical emotional support in his early childhood