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William to attend nanny's funeral

The Duke of Cambridge has cancelled his appearance at a series of events in the north east of England to attend the funeral of his former nanny.

Olga Powell cared for William and Prince Harry when they were young boys including the difficult period when their parents' marriage was breaking up in the early 1990s.

William will be attending the funeral on Wednesday in a private capacity and it is thought he will be passing on the condolences of his brother Harry who is serving in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner.

Mrs Powell, who was in her 80s and lived in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, died last month after suffering a heart attack and worked as a royal nanny from the 1980s until the early 1990s.

During an interview she gave last year before William's wedding she said: "I have a very normal relationship with them. Their upbringing was very normal and their parents wanted them to have as ordinary a childhood as they could.

"If they saw a muddy puddle they wanted to jump in it and if there was something to climb, they wanted to climb it."

A St James's Palace spokesman said: "Given the significant role that Mrs Powell played in the Princes' lives, the Duke wished to pay his respects in person."

The former nanny remained in touch with the royal brothers and was reportedly invited to a number of major events in their lives including the royal wedding and William's passing-out parade at Sandhurst in 2006.

Kate will now carry out a series of events in Newcastle and Stockton-on-Tees on her own on Wednesday, including meeting community groups in Newcastle Civic Centre and elsewhere chatting to organisations which have benefited from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund or have the Duchess as a patron.

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