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James Middleton reveals how he overcame dyslexia to read at royal wedding

29 October 2012
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When the Duchess of Cambridge asked her younger brother James to read at her wedding, the youngest Middleton wanted to do his sibling proud.While the 25-year-old's moving passage was a rounding success, he now reveals he struggled with his learning difficulties to deliver the perfect speech.


James – who suffers from dyslexia – chose to memorise his extensive extract rather than read it from the Bible and risk mixing up the words in front of a packed Westminster Abbey and a global TV audience of two billion people.

Speaking out to raise awareness for the British Dyslexia Association, Kate's little brother said: "I had to retype the whole of the reading phonetically, and that's how I learnt it.

Despite his stellar turn, James admitted to a letting out "a big sort of sigh afterwards."

"In that way I became confident in it, and then I felt I was perfectly capable of doing it. At the end of the day, whether it was in a little church or Westminster Abbey didn't matter, it was me, as a brother, doing a reading for my sister and her husband at their wedding and I wanted to do it right. "The results of his endeavor were flawless – an assured, confident and moving speech to mark his sister's inauguration into royal life.

When he started his term at the prestigious Marlborough College – the same school his sister famously attended – the challenge was intensified. "I had a little rhyme to learn how to spell Marlborough as my father said I would never get in if I couldn't even spell the name of the school," he says.


Dyslexia is a condition which impairs a person's fluency, comprehension and accuracy in reading. James' own struggle dates back to his school days when, aged 11, he was formally diagnosed after sitting a literacy exam. "There was some relief in that, because a lot of the strain comes from trying to hide it," he revealed.

"There was a certain amount of teasing but I built up a bit of resilience and I was competent in other areas. There were other boys in the same boat, too. "Since his school days years, James has powered on with an ambitious and focused take on life. Like his author sister Pippa, the baby of the Middleton family has been carving out a career based on his family's catering empire, Party Pieces.He has founded his own upmarket baking business, The Cake Kit Company, which makes personalised cakes for clients. A friend of the young entrepreneur told the Telegraph: “There is no doubt about it, James would like to be the next Richard Branson. He is surfing on the crest of a wave at the moment. All his friends think he will make serious money."

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