Ed Sheeran says Belfast-born grandad was a huge royalist

Singer-songwriter wishes his Belfast born grandad saw him receive MBE

Ed Sheeran said receiving a MBE was a “big deal” for him and his father. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ed Sheeran said receiving a MBE was a “big deal” for him and his father. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Ed Sheeran has said he wishes his Belfast born grandad who was a royalist had been alive to see him be awarded a MBE.

Sheeran was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter, who has Irish roots won multiple Brit and Grammy awards, released his third album, ÷ (Divide), earlier this year.

The 300,000 tickets sold for his concerts in Dublin and Cork is a record for a musician’s Irish concerts.

In a pre recorded interview with RTÉ’s Late Late show, Sheeran performed Nancy Mulligan, the song inspired by his grandparents William and Anne Sheeran who married despite being from different religions.

“Nancy Mulligan is about my grandfather and my grandmother. My grandfather is a Protestant from Belfast and my grandmother is a Catholic from Wexford and when they got married it was like a real thing. But they went against people, got married and ended up being married for 66 years before my grandfather passed away,” he said.

Sheeran said the MBE was a “really big deal” for him and his father.

“My grandfather was a huge, huge royalist and loved the royal family, had commemorative plates and sh*t. He was bang into it. He sadly passed away in 2013 but when the MBE came in, I remember being with my Dad and being like, ‘ah sh*t, wouldn’t it be cool if granddad was alive now to see this’,” he said,

In a wide-ranging interview Sheeran will talk about the inspiration behind his song Galway Girl, his love of Ireland, why he’s steering clear of social media.

He will also perform the Christmas song Fairytale of New York, alongside Picture This, Lisa Hannigan and Beoga.