A new development in a long-running mystery: After nearly four years of whispers, weirdness, and possibly a coverup, there is a new account suggesting that Princess Beatrice did indeed accidentally slice Ed Sheeran’s face open at a dinner party in 2016 while pretending to knight musician James Blunt.
The story first broke November 27, 2016, when The Sun reported some frankly wild gossip from an exclusive party gone allegedly awry. Sources told The Sun that Ed Sheeran had been rushed to a hospital after Princess Beatrice had grabbed a sword off the wall, swung it around, and sliced open his right cheek. According to a tipster in attendance, Beatrice had fetched the sword after Blunt, also in attendance, joked about receiving a knighthood. Beatrice, being a literal princess—though not technically authorized to dole out knighthoods—fetched a sword. As she stood before Blake and announced, “Arise, Sir James,” she reportedly swung too far back and caught Sheeran, who stood just behind her. As a source told The Sun: “A couple of the guests said it could have been worse and he could have been blinded in the eye but Ed really played it down.” According to the source, “Ed was the perfect gentleman and told her it was just an accident.”
Almost immediately, the intrigue began. Sheeran, Blunt, and Beatrice initially remained mum on the details. Then, in January 2017, Sheeran was asked about the incident directly during an interview with Radio 1 host Chris Stark. After Stark joked about “the incident with the sword,” Sheeran’s demeanor abruptly shifted, and he told Stark, “I don’t know if I can talk about that, you know?” Stark, in reply, asked, “What, the sword?” Sheeran simply responded with a “Yeah.” His awkwardness persisted on the Graham Norton Show, where he seemed similarly cagey.
Matters only grew more perplexing in March the same year. After a spate of interviews in which Sheeran played coy about the scar, James Blunt stepped into the scandal, telling ShortList, “Ed was drunk, messing around, and he cut himself. We made a fancy story up, people fell for it. It was very embarrassing.” On its face, Blunt’s story appeared credible: Sheeran is known for being somewhat goofy, so it was conceivable that he and pal James Blunt might concoct a fanciful story about a party mishap.
But now, three years later, Ed Sheeran’s manager has his own version of events!
Yesterday, Britain’s Telegraph released an interview with Stuart Camp, Sheeran’s manager, which described the pair as “the most eccentric working relationship the music business has ever seen.” Coincidentally, he previously managed James Blunt, which makes this next bit even more interesting. After a gaggle of wild tales, including one about a vacation in Antarctica and another about the time Sheeran almost died at the hands of Russell Crowe’s poisonous snakes, Camp says that, yeah, Beatrice did indeed slice Ed’s face open. His recollection of the incident:
“I got quite protective over that. Because we’ve never publicly commented on it. But certain people said, ‘Oh, you should lie and say it wasn’t her and say it was someone else.’ I said, well, we’re not telling anyone anything. I’m not lying, just because someone’s a fucking idiot. Because they’re thinking, yeah, I will get paralytic and take a sword off the wall. You’re just asking for trouble. You know, we’ve not heard hide nor hair from her since.”
The Telegraph abruptly ends this revelatory diatribe there, unfortunately. And while he doesn’t explicitly name Princess Beatrice in the quote, it’s pretty obvious who he’s talking about. I’m also electrified at his claim that people around him and Sheeran asked them to keep things quiet. Not because it’s shocking, really—of course there’d be pressure to protect a junior member of the royal family from looking like a “fucking idiot.” No, it’s just nice to hear someone say the quiet thing out loud.