Ed Sheeran has discussed the influence that Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee had on his career in 2002. On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the musician recounted viewing the occasion, which honoured the monarch’s 50 years in power, on TV as a child and feeling inspired.
“It was in 2002, I was 11 years old, and I didn’t play the guitar at that time,” he told Colbert. “I was watching this thing on television, Eric Clapton comes on and does the first opening bit of ‘Layla’ and I’m like, what is that? He finishes the song, and I knew in that instant I wanted to be that.”
“I want to have a guitar and I want to sing on stage. Then, ten years later, I’m playing the same thing – and I’ve just played the one ten years on from that, as well. It’s bonkers.”
Sheeran performed ‘The A Team’ at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and ‘Perfect’ at the Platinum Jubilee earlier this year. Sheeran discussed his few interactions with the Queen and the significance of a photograph of the two.
“She was smiling when she met me, but that was really, really early stages of my career – I’d released like one hit single, and I was playing her Jubilee,” he explained. “But 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.”
He continued: “I remember Kylie [Minogue] taking me over to the Queen and being like, ‘This is Ed Sheeran’ and the Queen being like [shrugs] and then hearing the joke and then laughing, and that was the picture.”