Ed Sheeran jokes about cut face at hospice fundraiser

Ed Sheeran performing at the hospice fundraising event at the Natural History Museum Image copyright PA
Image caption Ed Sheeran's facial wound was clearly visible when he performed at the Natural History Museum

Singer Ed Sheeran has performed his only gig of 2016 at a fundraising event for a children's hospice - and joked about having his face cut by royalty.

The musician performed at a gala dinner for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) at the Natural History Museum.

During his year out he "got his face cut open", he said, referring to reports Princess Beatrice accidentally cut him with a sword at a party.

EACH is trying to raise £10 million for a new hospice site in Norfolk.

Sheeran has not performed in public since December last year, when he announced he would be travelling the world and "taking a break" from his phone and social media.

However, he said he was "enormously proud and excited" to perform the 45-minute acoustic set at the museum on Wednesday night.

Image caption A portrait of Sheeran painted on the night by artist Ben Mosley - and signed by the singer - was one of a number of auction lots available

Sheeran took to the stage in front of Dippy the Diplodocus, the dinosaur skeleton replica which dominates the museum, but which will be removed next month to go on a nationwide tour.

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"This is the first time I've done a show in a year, so please bear with me," he told the audience.

"It's nice to be back," he said, before joking about the reported incident with Princess Beatrice, who allegedly left Sheeran needing 25 stitches after cutting his face while pretending to "knight" singer James Blunt at a fancy dress party.

"Anyone read about that?" he asked.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge, EACH's royal patron, said the new hospice would make "a huge difference"

Guests at the event also heard a message from EACH's royal patron, The Duchess of Cambridge.

She described the charity as "a wonderful organisation" and said the new hospice, called "the nook" would make "a huge difference to thousands of children and families for many years to come".

Sheeran's set included some of his most well-known hits including Thinking Out Loud, Sing, I See Fire and The A Team.

He also played Justin Bieber's Love Yourself, which he co-wrote but said he had never played live before.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sheeran took a selfie with one table of guests who bid £6,000 for the privilege at the auction

As well as performing on the night, Sheeran - an EACH ambassador since 2014 - donated a drum kit for a global auction for the charity, which raised £2,650.

The evening raised more than £262,000 for the charity.

Graham Butland, EACH's chief executive, said the auction "helped to raise the profile of the vital care we provide to life-threatened children and young people".

Its proposed new hospice will offer services currently unavailable at its other site in Quidenham, such as a hydrotherapy pool and music studio, and will have more accessible outside space.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Princess Beatrice is said to have cut Ed Sheeran's face while wielding a sword at a party

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