Princess Beatrice Says She'd Be 'Lucky' to Share with Her Children What the 'Gift of Dyslexia' Has Taught Her
Princess Beatrice is embracing her dyslexia.
Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter says that she wants to "change the narrative" around dyslexia and calls it a "gift" that she would be prepared for if her unborn child or stepson Wolfie have it.
"If by sharing my story I can help one young person, whether they're 11 or 7 just receiving the news that they've got the gift of dyslexia, then I think you've got such a fantastic opportunity to share some of these great learnings," she tells Hello! magazine's digital magazine.
Mom-to-be Beatrice, 33, is in conversation with podcaster and writer Giovanna Fletcher for Hello!'s Back to School-themed edition.
She tells Fletcher, who collaborated with Kate Middleton on her Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast about the early years, that she was "very lucky" that "not one person around me ever made me feel it was a 'lesser than' scenario" when she was diagnosed.
"It was always about moving forward, it was always about what you could do. Never about what you can't. And that's something that's really, really important to me. I find it very inspiring every day to talk about it," Beatrice tells Hello! "Because if you can just change one little idea in someone's head, then you've done a great thing."
She continues, "Honestly, 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. And I think just shifting the narrative a little bit towards something that is positive, that is impactful, I think can really help everyone."
Beatrice, who is expecting her first child with husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in the fall, praises her "fantastic teachers" and the tools that are available via the Helen Arkell charity has to help young people. "They have really been there for me, I am incredibly grateful for the work that they have done to support me in my life. I feel incredibly inspired to pay forward. Those who have had the chance to look after you, you should do it in return."
She says she will "tap into" the tools that the charity provides if her unborn child or her stepson Wolfie turn out to be dyslexic.
"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 a little bit about the moments that make you; it's the challenges that make you. Of course, I would never want there to be any difficult situations. But I feel like if we're able to embrace some of the tools that we have from the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity and other organisations, then I feel very, very lucky that we can have this conversation."
This last year or two has been trying for any parent with school age children, and Beatrice admits homeschooling is "definitely not my forte." Calling Wolfie her "bonus son" she says she felt "very lucky to work" with him through school closures. "A huge learning curve for all of us," she adds.
Beatrice also candidly talks about feeling "confused" and a "bit muddled" during her own school days. "I remember one teacher, I'd be looking at the words trying to formulate them in front of me, and I just looked at her with these big eyes to say, 'What am I supposed to do?' And her response was, 'The words are not written on my face.' And I'm thinking, 'Well, I don't know what they're doing on the page either!'
"I think it was quite an empowering thing actually, between the age of 7 and 11, really figuring out what you could and couldn't do. I actually think it's been the making of some of my best decision-makings."