Newly discovered photos from White House nanny Maud Shaw offer a rare look at Caroline and John Jr.'s Mary Poppins years

By Liz McNeil
July 01, 2015 08:00 AM

From the time the Kennedy children woke up in their White House bedrooms to the time they went to sleep, nanny Maud Shaw kept a watchful eye on them.

Photos from Shaw’s time caring for the world’s most famous children were auctioned off last week at Nate D. Sanders auction house – and they offer a remarkably intimate look at the First Family’s tender early years.

Shaw, who died at age 85 in 1988, “was very British with a great sense of formality,” says Gustavo Paredes, a playmate of Caroline Kennedy and her brother John Jr. whose mom, Providencia Paredes, was the personal assistant to First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

“She provided structure,” Paredes tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “When a woman comes into the room, you have to stand up, and to address everyone by Mister or Master, so it was ‘Master John.’ In that sense she was Mary Poppins without the great magic.”

Her photos open a new window onto the storied Camelot era – and capture Caroline and John Jr. in the midst of strikingly normal childhood moments even as they became part of history.

“I found them all very touching, especially the photo of Jackie leading Caroline on her pony Macaroni, John Jr. walking his puppy in the park and Jackie and Caroline sharing a picnic lunch on the lawn,” says Laura Yntema, Nate D. Sanders auction manager. “They show the love that nanny Maud Shaw had for the Kennedy family, and give the rest of us a peek into the family life of a President the country still misses.”

For all the intimate photos and exclusive remembrances of JFK, First Lady Jackie and their life with two small children in the White House, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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