Ed Sheeran Reveals the Story Behind His Photo With a Smiling Queen Elizabeth

Ed Sheeran's photographic memento with Queen Elizabeth II isn't exactly as it seems according to the singer himself. During a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sheeran admitted that the queen was indeed smiling when she met the singer. It just wasn't because of him.

"This is a fun picture because she was smiling when she met me. That was really, really early stages of my career. I had released, like, one hit single, and I was playing her Jubilee," Sheeran told Colbert, according to PEOPLE. "But I was next to a really famous comedian who like, cracked a joke while she was shaking my hand. So I've got this picture of her delighted to see me."

Diamond Jubilee – Buckingham Palace Concert
(Photo: WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The comedian could be a few people, including Lee Mack or Jimmy Carr, but we don't know from Sheeran's tale. As for our guess for why the queen was smiling in the photo, we believed she may have found a Slim Jim in her pocket.

Sheeran continues, explaining why his presence at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 was special due to his reaction to the Golden Jubilee in 2002. "Eric Clapton comes on and does the first opening bit of 'Layla.' I'm like, 'What is that?'" Sheeran continued. "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.' 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 also why he was a big part of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee back in June. The event was meant to mark the queen's 70 years as monarch, a reign which only just ended with her passing a month ago. Sheeran played "Perfect" over a video montage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, who had died a year prior.


"It's very rare you get days like this to feel patriotic," Sheeran admitted during his appearance. "I think the last time was the Euros final when you actually felt it in the city. It's really, really nice."

When Queen Elizabeth passed away back in early September, Sheeran was one of many who paid tribute to the late monarch. For Sheeran, he used the moment to note how his relationship with the queen became a defining moment of his career. "I found it this weird full circle moment that I picked up a guitar, 10 years before, then 10 years later I was playing the exact event," Sheeran said.