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Princess Beatrice opens up about how being dyslexic affected her self-esteem growing up

Royal says dyslexia is a 'great part of how your brain works' 

Chelsea Ritschel
Tuesday 26 May 2020 20:03 BST
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Princess Beatrice opens up about dyslexia and how it affects her 'day-to-day'

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Princess Beatrice has opened up about having dyslexia, and how the learning disorder continues to affect her “day-to-day”.

Over the weekend, the royal shared her own experience with dyslexia in a video for Made By Dyslexia, a charity that attempts to “help the world properly understand, value and support dyslexia.”

In the video, the 31-year-old recalled how being dyslexic made learning “very challenging” and how it affected her self-esteem growing up.

“I was very lucky, I got to go to a school that was very nurturing and very supportive, but I would describe the actual day to day learning side of things very challenging. You know, I remember we had different coloured books to describe how far your reading levels had got to and I was always on the white books,” Princess Beatrice said. “My best friends were always on the yellow books or the green books. They were so far ahead. And I think at that stage, those moments of doubt just pop into your head. I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough. Why am I not like the others?”

According to Princess Beatrice, these moments can seem “very defining” when you’re in the classroom.

“I think when you’re in the classroom, those moments are very defining. I think if I were to say to my younger self do not be defined by those moments that happened to you in that exam or that classroom because they are lifelong learnings. They are lessons that you carry with you, and they build you up to be who you are,” she said.

The daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson then praised the ways that educational institutions are changing to better suit those with dyslexia, which causes individuals to have difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The princess also opened up about how dyslexia has benefited her - especially in her career working at a technology company - because it allows her, and many of her colleagues who are also dyslexic, to “look at things differently”.

“I think that’s one of the strengths we have as dyslexic is to look at things differently, be a problem solver, find new ways to do things, be experimental, entrepreneurial," the royal explained.

Princess Beatrice concluded the video reminding people that dyslexia is not a disability, nor is it “something that is wrong with you”.

“Dyslexia really does affect me day-to-day,” she said. “It develops as you develop, it grows. It’s part of you, it’s part of how your brain develops.

“It is not something that is wrong with you. It is a great part of how your brain works and everybody’s brain works incredibly differently. There is nothing wrong, there is just everything that is so right.”

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