Tuesday 25 June 2019

'People were very tough on me' - Sweden's Prince Carl Philip reveals dyslexia battle after misreading name on tv

Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden and Princess Sofia of Sweden attend the 2018 Polar Music Prize award ceremony at the Grand Hotel on June 14, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty Images)
Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden and Princess Sofia of Sweden attend the 2018 Polar Music Prize award ceremony at the Grand Hotel on June 14, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty Images)
Princess Sofia of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip at a friend's wedding in Sweden. Picture: IBL/REX/Shutterstock
Prince Carl Phillip, Princess Sofia, and Prince Alexander of Sweden attend the inauguration of Prince Alexander's viewpoint at the Nynas Nature Reserve on August 23, 2018 in Gisesjon, Sweden. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)
Prince Carl Philip and wife Sofia, with sons Alexander and Gabriel. Picture: Anna Lena Ahlstrom/Swedish Royal Court
Prince Carl Philip the Duke of Varmland and Princess Sofia of Sweden the Duchess of Varmland walk the red carpet when arriving at Idrottsgalan, the annual Swedish sports awards gala held at the Ericsson Globe Arena on January 15, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his wife Princess Sofia of Sweden during the wedding of Prince Konstantin of Bavaria and Deniz Kaya at the french church 'Eglise au Bois' on September 1, 2018 in St Moritz, Switzerland. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

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."

Swedish Prince Carl Philip, right, and Sofia Hellqvist, left, when they announced their engagement at a press conference at The Stockholm Palace, in Stockholm, Friday, June 27, 2014. (AP Photo / Jonas Ekstromer) SWEDEN OUT
Swedish Prince Carl Philip, right, and Sofia Hellqvist, left, when they announced their engagement at a press conference at The Stockholm Palace, in Stockholm, Friday, June 27, 2014. (AP Photo / Jonas Ekstromer) SWEDEN OUT

He has since established an organisation to help those with learning difficulties and to combat cyber-bullying. 

Read more: Sweden's Princess Sofia gives a lesson in understated wedding guest elegance at Bavarian royal wedding

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.

Princess Sofia of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip at a friend's wedding in Sweden. Picture: IBL/REX/Shutterstock
Princess Sofia of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip at a friend's wedding in Sweden. Picture: IBL/REX/Shutterstock

"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."

Prince Carl Philip and wife Sofia, with sons Alexander and Gabriel. Picture: Anna Lena Ahlstrom/Swedish Royal Court
Prince Carl Philip and wife Sofia, with sons Alexander and Gabriel. Picture: Anna Lena Ahlstrom/Swedish Royal Court

"For me, I learned to actively stay away from reading about myself. So in my world, I felt like things died down."

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