Ed Sheeran may look like a poor man’s Prince Harry, but did you know that the flame-haired prince of pop also used to camp outside of Buckingham Palace like a 21st century hobo?
Sheeran may now be considered musical royalty but once upon a time, the warbling wonder didn’t have a penny to his name and used to sleep rough on the mean streets of old London town.
Well, according to his new autobiography he did. And one of those desolate and dark spots where Ed managed to get his head down for the night just happened to be a foreboding and friendless arch near Buckingham Palace.
As tragic as it is to think of a tremendous talent such as Sheeran sleeping rough on the street of Britain’s capital like some sort of washed-up wino, the plucky young songbird has made a silk’s purse out of the pig’s ear that once was his life and confesses as much in his much anticipated new book, A Visual Journey.
Sheeran’s book, which charts his life from a scruffy student singer to a scruffy multi-millionaire in more detail that anyone dared hope, or perhaps cared for, recalls how after studying at music college in London, our Ed struggled to make ends meet and found himself without a bed for a night. So, what’s a would be pop star to do? Well, head for the nearest palace of course.
As Sheeran writes.
“There was an arch outside Buckingham Palace that has a heating duct and I spent a couple of nights there. That’s where I wrote the song Homeless and the lines ‘It’s not a homeless night for me, I’m just home less than I’d like to be.'”
Sadly for Sheeran, his homeless hell was just beginning and he would spend another two and a half years without a bed to call his own.
“I didn’t have anywhere to live for much of 2008 and the whole of 2009 and 2010, but somehow I made it work. I knew where I could get a bed at a certain time of night and I knew who I could call at any time to get a floor to sleep on. Being sociable helped. Drinking helped.”
Fortunately for Sheeran, fame found the homeless bard and plucked him from both the streets and obscurity and gave him a stage on which to conquer the world. Just one year after releasing his debut album in 2011, Sheeran returned to Buckingham palace, not as a penniless pauper, but as a pop prince who was chosen to serenade the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee concert.
Reflecting on his days as a tramping troubadour, Sheeran recalls fondly, “I didn’t have the best personal hygiene at that point because I didn’t get a chance to shower.”
Yet what does it matter if Sheeran once stunk to high heaven like a plate of rotting fish left to bake in the midday sun; all said and done, the boy certainly came up smelling of roses.