Ed Sheeran speaks out after Princess Beatrice 'sword prank' mishap

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Ed Sheeran joked about getting his face "cut open" as he showed off a scar on his cheek during his first official performance of 2016.

"It's nice to be back. I've had a whole year off. I went to Japan for about a month and hung out with Japanese people. Got my face cut open, anyone read about that?" he said during a charity gig at the Natural History Museum in London.

Ed's comments came after reports that he was cut on the face by Princess Beatrice during a party prank.

Ed Sheeran performs at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) gala dinner, at the Natural History Museum, London. (John Stilwell)
Ed Sheeran performs at the East Anglia's Children's Hospices gala dinner, at the Natural History Museum, London. (John Stilwell)

The Sun said Ed, 25, needed stitches after Beatrice, 28, swung a ceremonial sword over her shoulder while she was pretending to "knight" James Blunt, not realising that the Thinking Out Loud singer was behind her.

Ed took to the stage on Wednesday night in front of Dippy the Diplodocus, the replica dinosaur skeleton which will be removed from Hintze Hall next month to go on a nationwide tour.

"This is the first time I've done a show in a year, so please bear with me," the singer said as he played to 350 guests at the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (Each) gala dinner.

During the 45-minute set, he treated guests to performances of his biggest hits including Thinking Out Loud, Sing, I See Fire and The A Team.

Ed, who took a break from social media in December 2015 and has not posted publicly online since, also played Justin Bieber's Love Yourself - a song Sheeran co-wrote but said he had never played live before.

Ed Sheeran performs at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) gala dinner, at the Natural History Museum, London. (John Stilwell)
Ed Sheeran performs at the East Anglia's Children's Hospices gala dinner, at the Natural History Museum, London. (John Stilwell)

The Suffolk-born singer helped raise valuable funds for the charity which provides vital services for children and young people with life-threatening illnesses across East Anglia.

He has been an ambassador for the charity since 2014 and supported Each's nook appeal which aims to raise £10 million to transform children's palliative care across Norfolk, including building a new hospice called The Nook.

Each said the total raised on the night came to more than £262,000.