Princess Beatrice has said that her family has endured their struggles “with humour and with joy” in a new podcast about dyslexia.
The Princess, 35, discussed her battle with learning difficulties as well as her family coping mechanisms during a 23 minute interview with Kate Griggs, the founder and chief executive of Made by Dyslexia.
“My family and I are incredibly close, so I would say that all throughout our lives we’ve been able to go through everything with humour and with joy and my mum really instilled that in us,” the Princess said.
She added that the Duchess of York’s “joyful” and “self-deprecating” attitude towards problems had inspired her to combat her own learning difficulties throughout her childhood in a positive way.
The Made by Dyslexia charity, of which the Princess has been patron for over a decade, aims to help people better understand, value and support people with dyslexia.
‘That inspires me and keeps me going’
In the new podcast series, titled Lessons in Dyslexic Thinking, the charity’s founder sits down to interview influential dyslexic figures, including Sir Richard Branson, Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, and scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
The episode featuring Princess Beatrice, released on Tuesday morning, was timed to coincide with dyslexic awareness month, which runs from Oct 1 until the end of the month.
The Princess, who has known she struggles with dyslexia since her early childhood, said she was proud “to be able to talk about dyslexia so honestly and so openly”.
“It’s given me more joy in my life than I knew, being able to tell my story and know that maybe it might help somebody else,” she said, adding: “That inspires me and keeps me going.”
Princess Beatrice was diagnosed with dyslexia, which affects one in 10 people in the UK, at the age of seven.
She told Mrs Griggs that her initial experiences at school were a “real challenge,” saying: “The early days of school really stand out as those moments where you just don’t fit it and you can’t figure out what it is about you … I remember trying to do extra lessons with teachers and blankly staring up [at their faces].”
Speaking on the new episode, the Princess praised her “amazing teachers,” naming Hilary Leppard and Wendy Moyles, saying: “These are all characters that I well up when I think about, because I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today if they hadn’t been there in my life.”
She added that she had recently bumped into Leppard at a charity event and despite trying to be strong, she “promptly burst into tears”.
“We were standing in a crowd and I was crying and she was crying and I think, now being an advocate for Dyslexic Thinking, I think about her every day, how lucky I was.”
‘Incredible emotional intelligence’
She also praised her mother as her “role model and champion”, saying that the Duchess has “the most incredible emotional intelligence of anyone I know”.
“The other thing that was a really big important part of my mum’s championing me was that she really encouraged us to look outside of what struggles we were ever going through in our own lives, so there was a huge focus on charity work, huge focus on advocacy,” she added.
The Princess’s husband, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, is also a diagnosed dyslexic, but she said that it has helped “push him to be the entrepreneur that he is”.
The 39-year-old works as a property executive and an interior designer in his role as the chief executive of Banda Property.
Their two children, stepson Wolfie and their daughter Sienna, two, are undiagnosed, but the Princess said: “As two dyslexics we will be, as parents, figuring out now whether or not our children have dyslexia and how best to support them.
“But if they are lucky enough to be dyslexic as well,” she smiled, adding: “Then I feel really grateful that we can help them with resources.”