Nannies Hired By the Royal Family Are Trained in Child-rearing...and Taekwondo

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Elite nanny school, Norland College, includes everything from diaper changing to paparazzi evasion in its syllabus.


Recognized by their distinctive brown uniforms, flat hats, and brown gloves, Norland Nannies, or "Norlanders", are known for being the closest thing to hiring a real-life Mary Poppins.

These nannies are trained by the most prestigious nanny training school in the world—Norland College, a 126-year-old British institute in the quaint city of Bath founded by teacher Emily Ward.

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And you will not want to mess with these nannies famously favored by the British royal family and rockstars alike (Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, and Mick Jagger have all hired a Norlander).

So what makes these nannies so special? They're a little Mary Poppins, yes, but also a little James Bond. After three years in the elite nanny school, Norland College's graduates know everything from how to stop a toddler's temper tantrum, how to cook, how to stop potential kidnappers or paparazzi... and Taekwondo. 

Related: A London Guide to "Mary Poppins Returns"

Here's everything you need to know about the child-carers of choice for the UK elite. 

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What Does A Norland Nanny Do?

As they go on to work for some of the most influential families in the world, Norland nannies have to be armed to tackle just about any situation that's thrown at them—including dangerous ones.

Like regular nannies, they're equipped to meet the needs of modern parents, whether it's caring for an unruly child, administrating first aid and medicine for scrapes, or dealing with preparations for holidays, weekend visits, ski vacations... but some of the recent additions to the curriculum at Norland College have been security and anti-terrorism training, and skid-driving to avoid paparazzi. Seriously. 

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The Uniform

The Norland uniform can be recognized far and wide—and it was updated for the first time in 70 years back in 2003. It currently consists of a brown dress or trousers, brown shoes, a hat, dark tights, brown gloves, and a coat in winter and light tights and white gloves in the summer. They ask nannies to wear hats and gloves at all times, including to and from the college and at formal functions. 

While the uniform comes with a certain status symbol (and costs students approximately $1,300), the college is rather strict on students who fail to graduate, stating on the college website:  "Any student who leaves the college without successfully completing the three year BA (Hons) and Norland Diploma course is not entitled to wear his/her uniform at any time or call him/herself a Norlander."

Related: Why You Should Travel With Your Baby

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How Much Do You Pay A Norland Nanny?

As a starting salary, a Norland nanny will set you back $34,000 a year, according to the Mirror.