'People were very tough on me' - Sweden's Prince Carl Philip reveals dyslexia battle after misreading name on tv
Sweden's Prince Carl Philip has revealed his struggles with dyslexia, in particular, after he was ridiculed for stumbling over a name on television in 2013.
The father-of-two, who is second in line to the Swedish throne, visited the Made By Dyslexia Global Summit in London and announced that he has been battling the learning difficulty his entire life. Five years ago, he struggled with reading the name of a winner of a televised sports competition, which he described as a "tipping point".
"People were very tough on me. That was a tipping point. It was a terrible feeling to be hung out in the media as being stupid," he told the Sunday Times.
"I was very insecure that I would get all the words correct...My self-esteem was low because I felt I couldn’t cope with the same reading as other students, and then you feel dumb, which is of course not the case."
He has since established an organisation to help those with learning difficulties and to combat cyber-bullying.
His wife of three years, Princess Sofia, said it was difficult to see her husband struggling to reach his "full potential" and praised his endurance and strength, adding that he now reads his children bedtime stories every night.
At the beginning of their romance nine years ago, Sofia (née Hellqvist) said she experience a "huge hate storm" from the people of Sweden as she previously worked as a swimsuit model and reality star, and posed topless with a boa constrictor for a magazine.
"It was very tough. People had comments on everything possible, on what I do and how I look," she told TV4.
"I was met with an enormous hate storm from people who had opinions about me as a person, about my relationship. I was surprised and it definitely affected me. I didn’t understand that people had such need to express how badly they felt about me. It was very tough."
Sofia said her reason for opening now is in conjunction with their new anti-cyber bullying organisation, which is aimed at young people.
"I was adult when this happened to me, so I can only imagine in a school environment and in other instances how big this can be in a child’s world," she said. "They don’t have the same perspective on life and don’t have the understanding that it’s not really about you and that you should just see past it."
"For me, I learned to actively stay away from reading about myself. So in my world, I felt like things died down."