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Princess Victoria on Overcoming Anorexia and Dealing with Anxiety: ‘I Used to Think I Was Stupid and Slow’

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Crown Princess Victoria
Erika Gerdemark Kungahuset.se/The Royal Court, Sweden

Carrying forward Prince Harry‘s openness on mental health, Crown Princess Victoria has spoken out about her own problems with anorexia, dyslexia and anxiety.

“I used to think I was stupid and slow,” Princess Victoria, 39, said in an interview with Swedish station SVT. And she added that although she overcame the eating disorder she developed as a teenager, “the performance anxiety I had is still there.”

But now, Princess Victoria said, “I’ve been given different kinds of tools and learned how to manage it.”

Plus, the future queen said, the passage of time has eased the problem as she dismissed the idea that her high-profile role has contributed to her anxiety.

“There are as many reasons to feel bad as there are people,” she said.

Echoing Prince Harry’s recent campaign to tackle the taboo of discussing mental health in public, the princess said she is concerned for the mental health of young people.

She said “all the perfect images that are uploaded” and the expectation that “everything has to be polished” has heaped pressure on the young, and made mental health problems in youth more common.

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Princess Victoria revealed her eating disorder during an interview with another Swedish station, TV4, in May, explaining that she “went through a tough time,” as she battled anorexia in her teenage years.

Though she was set to head to Sweden’s Uppsala University, Prince Victoria instead took time off in the United States.

“I needed time to sort things out and get my balance back again,” Princess Victoria said. “I needed to get to know myself, discover where my limits were, not constantly push myself too much.”

Now plans to introduce her children, Princess Estelle, 5, and Prince Oscar, 1, to their role as royals, “gradually and naturally,” as to not overwhelm them.

“For me it is important that children be children,” Princess Victoria said to SVT, “My parents felt exactly the same about me.”