For many dyslexics reading out aloud in public is one of the cruelest forms of torture life has to offer. Many of us have flashbacks of being in an English class where a teacher has decided that it would be a great idea for each student, one by one, to read a piece of a text in front of the whole class.
Now imagine this scenario, but this time reading out aloud at one of the most historic events of the 21st century. The event will be televised, there will be a live global audience of 2 billion, and the speech will be played back thousands of times on global and social media.
This is the exact fate that James Middleton, brother of Kate Middleton, faced when he was asked to deliver the only reading at Kate and Williams wedding in 2011.
Growing up even reading in front of his class terrified him, so for James making a slip of the tongue in this pressured environment could have been devastating.
To make sure nothing was left to chance; James tediously re-wrote the bible passage he would be reading in phonetic form. This made it easier for him to learn the whole passage by heart.
This technic worked perfectly. As I think you’ll agree, in the video below James conducts a perfect reading.
James is no stranger to finding creative workarounds to manage his dyslexia. As a child he recalls how he would make up rhymes to help him remember how to spell words. ‘“Said” was Sally Anne Is Dead, and “Because” was Betty Eats Cakes And Uncle Sells Eggs’.
James now owns Cake Kit, a company that supplies bespoke cakes and is now totally comfortable with the fact he is dyslexic. However, it’s still refreshing to know that even if you are a successful business man and your sister is the Duchess of Cambridge, you can still make the odd #dyslexicfail. James recalls, ‘I had 1,000 business cards printed, but I had to throw them in the bin because I spelt “personalised” wrong…not ideal, given the thing I do is personalised cakes. But I just looked at it and I could not see it.’