Search icon


23rd Aug 2021

Parents react to “privileged” Princess Beatrice calling dyslexia “a gift”

Laura Grainger

“It’s not that much of a ‘gift’ when you can’t spell simple words and need spell check 24/7.”

Parents and people who have dyslexia have mixed feelings towards Princess Beatrice referring to the condition as a “gift.”

The royal previously opened up about having the condition for Hello! magazine’s back to school issue.

“What inspired me to talk about dyslexia the way that I have, is because I really want to change the narrative around the diagnosis,” she said. “Even referring to it as a diagnosis I feel does a disservice to the brilliance of some of the most fantastic minds that we have.

“I was very lucky that when I was first told that I had dyslexia, not one person around me ever made me feel like it was a ‘lesser than’ scenario. It was always about moving forward, it was always about what you could do.”

Beatrice, who is pregnant and step-mother to husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s son Wolfie, added that any of her kids would be lucky to be diagnosed with dyslexia.

“If any child, any bonus son, or future babies that are on their way, are lucky enough to be diagnosed with dyslexia, I feel incredibly grateful to have tools such as the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity to be able to tap into, to give them that extra support. I think it’s really important for every parent, that they feel they are not alone in this.

“My husband’s also dyslexic so we’ll see whether we’re having this conversation in a couple of months’ time with a new baby in the house, but I really see it as a gift. And I think life is about the moments, it’s the challenges that make you,” she concluded.

Though Beatrice might have been trying to put a positive spin on the diagnosis and assure parents or children with dyslexia that the condition doesn’t make a person “lesser than,” many are unhappy with her choice of the word “gift.”

One person took to social media to respond to her comments, writing: “I have dyslexia and I’m a writer. It’s not that much of a ‘gift’ when you can’t spell simple words and need spell check 24/7.”

Another tweeted: “Tone deaf Princess sees dyslexia as a ‘gift’ and actually wishes it on her child. Meanwhile in the real world, many, many children in the public school system never learn to read as the testing and tutoring costs are beyond the reach of all but the rich.”

“A gift when your life is privileged and gifted and you have the best support. Many children wait for years for a diagnosis let alone support in school,” another pointed out.

One parent highlighted the difference in accessibility to support between Beatrice and the majority of children: “Lucky? Yes when you have the best education. My son was diagnosed at 9 after me pushing. I was told for 3 years by the SENCo there was nothing wrong then 9 weeks after I contacted the education department he was diagnosed. Primary school never even informed secondary of his diagnosis.”

If you think you or your child may be affected by dyslexia, check out Dyslexia Association Ireland for a variety of resources and support.