(LONDON) — Prince William put professional obligations aside for the day to say goodbye to a woman who was by his side throughout his childhood.
William, the second-in-line to the British throne, attended the funeral of Olga Powell, a nanny to the royal family for 15 years, who died last month at the age of 82.
Powell first entered Prince William’s life when the young prince was just six months old, according to ITV. She continued to watch William and, soon, his younger brother, Prince Harry, throughout their formative years and saw them through the divorce of their parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the death of Princess Diana just years later, in 1997.
William, 30, cancelled engagements with his wife, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, to attend the private service, held in Harlow, Essex, U.K. He was seen in photographs wearing a dark suit and surrounded by his extended family on his mother’s side, including Diana’s sisters, Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale.
Prince Harry, 27, did not attend the service because he is currently serving a four-month deployment in Afghanistan with the British Army.
Powell, who was frequently seen in photographs shepherding the young princes, reportedly kept in touch after she ended her service to the royals when William was around 15, attending William’s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle and his wedding to Middleton in April 2011. She also attended Prince Harry’s confirmation at Eton College in 2000, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail also reported that Powell’s family requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her honor to Prince Harry’s own charity, Sentebale, which he created to provide support for children and orphans in Lesotho, Africa.
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