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17th Aug 2021

Princess Beatrice says having dyslexia is a ‘gift’ and her future children would be ‘lucky’ to have it

Kat O'Connor

“I really see it as a gift.”

Princess Beatrice is using her royal status to help spread a very special message. The expectant mum hopes to inspire children and help them feel understood by opening up about having dyslexia.

“What inspired me to talk about dyslexia the way that I have, is because I really want to change the narrative around the diagnosis. 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.”

The princess explained that she sees dyslexia as a gift rather than a diagnosis.

She explained that even talking about it differently can help children with dyslexia feel more accepted.

“Shifting the narrative a little bit towards something that is positive, that is impactful, I think can really help everyone,” she told Hello.

The mum-to-be explained that one thing that really helped her was having a strong support network around her. “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.”

She said focusing on what your child can’t do is something you should avoid because it will tarnish their confidence. She advised parents to encourage their children and focus on everything they can achieve. Turning dyslexia into a hurdle will only make their kids feel more overwhelmed.

“I find it very inspiring every day to talk about it. Because if you can just change one little idea in someone’s head, then you’ve done a great thing.”

By focusing on her dyslexia as a gift, Beatrice said she has been able to come up with different solutions in her career.

“I always describe it like being able to think in a circle. Yes, my spelling is appalling, and I wish that I could do something about that. But luckily, spellcheck has sorted that out for me.”

Beatrice is set to welcome her first child into the world in the coming months and shared that her future child would be lucky to have 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.”

She continued, “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.”

The Queen’s granddaughter hopes her honesty and transparency can help children feel less alone. “Young people nowadays are dealing with so much information, whether it’s from social media or other platforms, that adding a dyslexic diagnosis can be a real challenge. So, if we can do even one thing to make sure that they don’t feel different, that’s when all the good things can really happen. We can make sure that no child feels like they are alone.”