Ed Sheeran received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

ED SHEERAN RECEIVES MBE

The singer, 26, was awarded for his services to music and charity, having supported multiple causes during his career. He was also the most-streamed artist of 2017. Sheeran covered all of his tattoos before he met the Prince, but still managed to break one simple rule at his ceremony – he touched the forearm of the Prince.

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According to royal etiquette, touching a royal should not go beyond a formal handshake. The arm touch, of course, was part of an extended handshake, and Prince Charles did not let on to any unhappiness with the motion.

“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, and he was quite surprised I was flying after this,” Sheeran said of his brief conversation with the Prince. After the ceremony, reporters asked the singer if he had been invited to perform at next year’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The answer was no, but when asked if he would do the gig, Sheeran said, “Yeah, why not.”

The date of the ceremony was actually very meaningful to Sheeran. “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.”

Honoured to be awarded an MBE today at Buckingham Palace x

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Sheeran has always been one to downplay his achievements. When asked about the secret of his success, Sheeran replied, “I think it’s persistence. I don’t have a vast amount of talent compared to other people, I think talent is like 30% of it and persistence, drive, and self belief are the other ones, which I guess are all the same thing.”