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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 16:02 GMT
Princess Beatrice 'has dyslexia'
Duchess of York (centre) with Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess Eugenie
The Duchess said Beatrice (left) was "proud" to talk about dyslexia
The Duchess of York has said Princess Beatrice struggles with her schoolwork because she is dyslexic.

The 16-year-old princess is due to take her GCSEs this summer and is receiving extra help with reading and writing.

The Duchess said she was also "a little bit" dyslexic and had had some problems at school.

She described her daughter's experiences during a visit to the London school attended by the murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor.

The Duchess is patron of a charity called Springboard for Children, which sends volunteers into inner city schools to help pupils who are behind in their reading and writing.

She said Princess Beatrice would probably continue to receive extra help in literacy "for the foreseeable future".

I had a problem at school, it took me ages to read
Duchess of York
"She loves history - coming from Queen Victoria and her family, she wanted to learn about history but she couldn't because she couldn't read.

"She is such a kind person. She didn't get frustrated. I would have," she said at Oliver Goldsmith School in Peckham, south London.

"I had a problem at school. I think I am fine now but I think I did because it took me ages to read and no-one listens."

The Duchess said Princess Beatrice was "very proud" that everyone should know of her literacy problem.

"She said 'Please tell everybody because it's very important'," the Duchess said.

She said that Beatrice, who receives help from the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, was now catching up with her peers.

"She is very good at oral French, drama, numbers, just like her mother."

Basic skills

She said her daughter was one of the main reasons she supported the Springboard charity.

The charity works with children who are typically two years behind in their basic literacy skills.

It says that by the end of a programme, more than nine in 10 children will have caught up.

About one in 10 people are affected by dyslexia. Most have difficulty recognising, reading and spelling words.

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24 Sep 04 |  Education


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