Ed Sheeran broke royal protocol while receiving his MBE

By Gemma Strong

While receiving his MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Thursday (Dec 7), Ed Sheeran made a bit of a royal mistake. The “Shape of You” singer, who was honoured for his services to music and charity, was photographed touching the Prince on the arm as the pair shook hands at the investiture ceremony – a breach of royal protocol. Neither Charles nor Ed seemed fazed by the error, however, and they spent a few moments chatting together as Ed picked up his award. "He was asking me if I was still selling lots of records, and I told him I've got a concert in New York tomorrow [Friday]. He was quite surprised I was flying after this," Ed later told reporters.

TAP TO VIEW THE GALLERYPrince Charles presenting an MBE to Ed SheeranEd Sheeran was seen Prince Charles' arm as he received his MBE

The star then revealed that receiving the honour had made him think of his late grandfather, Bill. "My grandfather was a massive royalist," he said. "He had all the commemorative plates and stuff, and he died on this day four years ago, so it's actually quite a nice full circle thing. I guess he'd be pretty proud." Ed also joked that he hadn't yet been asked to perform at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, but asked by reporters whether he would do so if invited, he replied with a grin: "Yeah, why not?!"

Prince Charles presenting an MBE to Ed Sheeran a different angle viewThe 26-year-old singer was honoured for his services for music and charity

Ed was the most-streamed artist of 2017, with an incredible 6.3 billion global streams. His album, Divide, was also the biggest album of the year, racking up 3.1 billion stream around the world, while Shape of You became Spotify's biggest track of all time. Despite that, the 26-year-old played down his achievements. "I think it's about persistence," he said. "I don't have a vast amount of talent compared to other people. I think talent is like 30 per cent of it, and persistence, drive and self-belief are the other ones, which I guess are all the same thing."

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