Tiggy Legge-Bourke made the news again for the explosive statements of Hasnat Khan, Diana Spencer’s boyfriend between 1995 and 1997. Lady Di’s former love, who often keeps a low profile and doesn’t give media reports, claimed that journalist Martin Bashir -of the BBC- he manipulated Diana into agreeing to give him the interview where he spoke bluntly about Carlos’s infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles.
“He was very persuasive with Diana and filled her head with nonsense”Said the 62-year-old cardiologist, who has rarely spoken publicly about his affair with Lady Di. Khan asserted that after talking to Bashir, Diana began to believe that the prince had impregnated Tiggy Legge-Bourke, the nanny to Princes Harry and William.
In 1993, Legge-Bourke was hired by Prince Charles as a babysitter for his children. He did so shortly after separating from Diana of Wales, after admitting his affair with Parker Bowles. The woman had received an elite education in a London school and had experience in the field: she ran her own nursery in that same city. The trust that the British royal household had in her family also played in her favor: Tiggy’s mother, Shân Legge-Bourke, had been Princess Anne’s companion in the 1980s.
For five years, and until 1999 when she was no longer single, the woman took care of the princes. However, his passage through Kensington Palace was quite difficult due to his differences with the ex-wife of his boss: to princess diana He did not like her smoking in front of her children or referring to them as “her babies.”
Diana was bothered by the close link Legge-Bourke had with Prince Charles and his sons. She was even convinced Legge-Bourke aborted Carlos’s child and, according to Paul Burrell’s book, had a related collision at the staff Christmas party. It is said that he approached her and said aloud: “I’m sorry for the baby.”, which led Legge-Bourke to leave the event annoyed.
Tiggy didn’t seem to care about Lady Di’s opinion of the upbringing of princes. “I give them what they need at this stage: fresh air, a rifle, and a horse. They give them a tennis racket and a bucket of popcorn at the movies”He once declared.
Shortly after Tiggy’s arrival, Diana confessed to her butler and friend Paul Burrell that she believed Carlos was in love with her and he also planned to marry her. Years later, Burrell revealed in one of his books that Lady Di had commented on her hypothesis about the babysitter’s abortion.
The British press echoed that rumor. Her presence in the public debate made the princes’ nanny, with the support of Queen Elizabeth II herself, would come to ask through her lawyer for an apology from the princess.
Sure enough, Legge-Bourke won a written apology. Her Majesty also asked Sir Robert Fellowes, Diana’s brother-in-law and the queen’s private secretary, to investigate the matter and, according to The Telegraph, later wrote to him: “Your accusations about Legge-Bourke Legge-Bourke are completely unfounded. Her relationship with the Prince of Wales has never been more than professional. On the date of the alleged abortion, she was at Highgrove with William and Harry. This is all terribly wrong”.
A year later, the magazine Time published that Diana even asked the babysitter to leave the room when she was on the phone with her children and demanded through a letter that the woman not read to them before sleeping or supervise their bath time.
Legge-Bourke would later admit to having been in love with Carlos when he was younger, but as one of Diana’s biographers, Lady Colin Campbell, wrote, “The prince is only interested in her as an uncle is interested in a younger niece.” .
In 1999, Legge-Bourke married her childhood boyfriend, Charles Pettifer, and left the royal household job. He did not invite Camilla Parker Bowles to the wedding and Prince Charles declined, but both William and Harry were there. If there was a grudge between the couples, it’s over: the Pettifers participated in Camilla’s 60th birthday in 2007.
Nevertheless, William and Harry had great love for their nanny. In 1998, a year before she stopped working within the royal family, the woman was about to be fired for allowing the princes to go down a well without a safety harness or helmet, but Carlos’s children asked to be let down in her post and this was the case until 1999, when she married Charles Pettifer, a soldier in the British Army.
She never lost focus of her work and was even with them the fateful August 31, 1997 when the death of Princess Diana was announced because of a traffic accident in Paris. William and Harry were at the royal family’s summer home at Balmoral Castle, Scotland. Prince Charles had to make an emergency trip to Paris to repatriate the body of his ex-wife, while the children were left in the care of their grandmother, Elizabeth II and Tiggy, who comforted them.
Tiggy became the mother figure of the princes after Diana’s death and the affection between them continues to this day. It was an invitation to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, held on May 19, 2018, and a year later was part of a select list of participants of the Archie Harrison’s christening at Windsor Castle. She is believed to be godmother to Harry and Meghan Markle’s son.
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