Prince Edward's Ex-Girlfriend Once Silenced Queen Elizabeth's Singing at Royal Family BBQ

Singer Ruthie Henshall might be one of the few people to ever stop Queen Elizabeth II from singing. In a new interview, Henshall recalled silencing the queen when she dated the queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, in the early 1990s. The incident happened during a royal family summer barbecue in 1992, and it was the late Princess Diana who egged Henshall on.

"The Queen and Princess Margaret were singing a hymn and Diana said to me: 'Stop them singing hymns,'" Henshall, 55, recalled in a Hello! Magazine interview, reports PEOPLE. "And Margaret said: 'Oh yes, sing something from that show you're in.' So I sang, 'I Dreamed A Dream.'"

Henshall admitted to being nervous and changed the key three times because it suddenly "really was by royal command." Prince Charles had given her "a couple of strong martinis" earlier in the day, which was "probably why I was able to sing," she said.

Henshall is an award-winning stage star, appearing in productions of Cats, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, She Loves Me, Oliver!, Chicago, Fosse, and Billy Elliot on both sides of the Atlantic. She dated Prince Edward for six years during the 1990s. She would go on to marry singer Tim Howar, whom she divorced in 2010. Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, and they are parents to Lady Louise and James.

Henshall has fond memories from her time with the royal family. "I don't think you ever forget who you're in the presence of, but you're looking at a family that is just hanging out together like any other family," she said. "They were all so welcoming and so lovely – and they're a laugh."

Edward, 58, is the youngest of Queen Elizabeth's children. Since he is 14th in the line of succession to the British throne, he usually stays out of the public spotlight. However, Edward and Sophie surprisingly spoke out about the rift between the royal family and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Edward told CNN the situation was "very sad" and noted the family faces "excessive intrusion and attention" in their lives, which they all handle in different ways.

"We've plodded along doing what we're doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there's a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit," Sophie told The Telegraph in June 2021. "Naturally, the media are looking for people to fill the so-called void. But you know, we have been doing this for what feels like a pretty long time! If people want to pay more attention to what we're doing then great because actually, that's got to be good for our organizations and the work that we are trying to carry."