Harry Potter helped Princess Beatrice overcome dyslexia

The Queen's granddaughter reveals how J.K. Rowling’s books made a difference in her life.
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Denette Wilford, July 10, 2013 12:03:40 PM

Princess Beatrice has never hidden her dyslexia, which she was diagnosed with at the age of seven. Now she’s revealing how she overcame the reading disorder — by immersing herself in the Harry Potter books.

The fifth in line for the throne (well, soon to be sixth after her cousin Prince William and Duchess Kate‘s baby is born) explained in a video message just how valuable the J.K. Rowling series was, reports The Telegraph.

Beatrice described that the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, is what kick-started her love of reading. In the video, the princess read a four-page excerpt from the book (the part where Harry enters the great hall of Hogwarts for the first time to find out what house he will join), and introduced her reading by saying, “I thought I would tell you a little story about why reading is so important to me and why we need to get more young people reading in London.”

She continued: “When I was younger I was diagnosed with dyslexia which meant, for me, sitting in front of a book was really hard — until I discovered Harry Potter, and this character, this 11-year-old boy, who suddenly gets off to school for the first time, captured my imagination and suddenly reading was fun. Reading was inspiring and I was motivated. From then on and then, I couldn’t put the books down.” Beatrice added the novel was “one of my favourite books” and it was what “got me reading.”

The video will be shown at the Get Reading Festival in Trafalgar Square this weekend, which aims to encourage young people to read.

Earlier this year, Beatrice became the royal patron of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, which she has credited with helping her to cope with the condition during her high school years. She has said she “benefited hugely” from the centre and credited its experts with her academic achievements at both  St George’s School in Ascot and Goldsmith’s College in London.

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Denette Wilford

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