Ed Sheeran shared how he came to meet the late Queen Elizabeth and how her Golden Jubilee in 2002 actually inspired his entire music career.
The pop star appeared on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he was asked by the host about a photo showing him smiling broadly while shaking hands with the monarch. Sheeran explained, “This is a fun picture because she was smiling when she met me. But that was really, really early stages of my career. I had released, like, one hit single, and I was playing her Jubilee.” But he shared that while the queen may look thrilled to be meeting him in that photo, her smile was actually meant for someone much more famous right behind him. The “Shape of You” singer continued, “I was next to a really famous comedian who cracked a joke while she was shaking my hand. So I’ve got this picture of her like delighted to see me.”
Sheeran recalled that the monarch actually had no reaction to being introduced to him, but started laughing at the comedian just as the shot was taken, “And that’s the picture.” He continued, “But, no, that was good because basically the day that I picked up the guitar, the Golden Jubilee was on television.” The Grammy winner elaborated, “It was in 2002, I was 11 years old and I didn’t play the guitar at that time. I was watching this thing on television. Eric Clapton comes on and does the first opening bit of ‘Layla.’ I’m like, ‘What is that?’ And he finishes the song and I knew in that instant, I was like, I want to be that. I want to have a guitar and I want to sing on stage.” He concluded, “And 10 years later, I’m playing the same thing, and I just played the one 10 years on from that as well. It’s bonkers.” The singer added that he would love to find out that his performances inspired some 11 year old out there to pick up the guitar and fall in love with music as well. Colbert assured him, “I promise you it’s already happening.” Sheeran replied, “I hope so, kind of pay it forward.”
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