Katherine Jenkins opens up about ‘nerve-racking’ royal performance

Katherine Jenkins has said singing in front of the Queen was more “nerve-racking” than performing in front of a million people.

The classical singer, 40, has performed at a number of royal occasions including the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle in 2016.

Jenkins, originally from Neath in Wales, also performed on New Year’s Eve 2014 at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for an audience of one million.

Scripture Union’s 150th anniversary service of celebration
Scripture Union’s 150th anniversary service of celebration

Speaking on Charlotte Hawkins’ podcast Last, Past & Blast, she said: “I actually think that’s probably the most nerve-racking.

“I sang one New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and there were a million people in the street in front of the stage. That was actually, surprisingly, less nerve-racking than singing in front of 12 people, which included the Queen in her front room at an event recently.

“It’s because when you can see everyone’s faces and everybody is just there, I find that more nerve-racking then when it’s just a sea of people.

“You feel a certain pressure that you really have to be at your absolute best.

“I’m a massive fan of Her Majesty, so that always makes you feel very nervous.”

Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations
Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations

Jenkins also recalled performing to an empty Royal Albert Hall during lockdown, to highlight the plight of the arts sector.

She said: “I got to the end of the performance and I actually had to look up, because I suddenly was overwhelmed with emotion at the fact that, ‘Wow, this isn’t a soundcheck, these seats are empty for a reason’, and, ‘Wow, what we are all going through here’.

“I look up and try and style it out, that I’m actually taking in the Albert Hall, but it was trying not to cry.

“I’m just so thankful to have had that opportunity to do that.

“It’s my favourite venue in the world, so to get to do something like that was really, really special.”

Listen to the full interview on Last, Past & Blast.