Everyone knows who Diana Spencer is. Even after her passing, she is remembered by several titles including the Princess of Wales, The People’s Princess, and mother to Prince William and Prince Harry. Despite her short-lived life, Diana’s elegance, humility, and kindness resonated with everyone.
But before she ascended to royalty and became one of the most influential people of the 20th century, not many of us know that Princess Diana actually worked as a nanny when she was a teen, earning a modest $5 an hour for her services.
In 1980, an American businesswoman working in London named Mary Robertson needed a little help in taking care of her young son, Patrick, so she contacted a local agency. The agency then sent over an 18-year-old Diana Spencer. The shy and quiet teenager worked three days a week for Robertson and was a nursery school teacher the rest of the week.
The American expat said she "fell in love with her." She would do laundry, pick up toys, and wash dishes, she recounted. "She was wonderful with my child."
Unbeknownst to Robertson, the part-time nanny she hired was born into one of England's noble families complete with a long line of royal ancestry. She only learned about it upon stumbling on a deposit slip from Diana's bank under their couch. The deposit was directed to Coutts and Company.
Robertson, having several years of experience in finance under her belt, was aware that the bank exclusively caters to aristocrats and members of the royal family. She went on to confront Lady Diana about it in which the latter reacted like it was no big deal and simply asked to take Patrick out for a walk. Diana then went on to continue her nanny duties.
A few months later, Robertson got another shock of her life when she found out that Diana was dating 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.
Diana eventually submitted her notice that she was leaving Robertson. The next time she saw her former nanny, she was walking down the aisle in the Royal wedding witnessed by the whole world.
Robertson thought that was the last she would hear of her, but it wasn't the case at all. Diana kept in touch with her former employer after her wedding to Prince Charles. For a total of sixteen years, they spoke through dozens of cards and letters.
After Diana diêd from a car accident on August 31, 1997, Robertson was among the thousands of mourners who showed up at her funeral in London's Westminster Abbey. To this day, she continues to remember Diana for being the extraordinary young woman she was.