Ed Sheeran emerged from the royal palace on Thursday with a major new honour — but the ceremony didn’t exactly go off without a hitch.
The Grammy award-winning singer received an MBE, signifying he’s a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to music and charity. Prince Charles bestowed the honor on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
“[I] shook the prince’s hand and talked to him for a little bit,” Sheeran, 26, told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford during a Friday interview on the Today show. “Apparently, I did a big faux pas, though. I shook his hand and then grabbed it and you’re not meant to do that.”
A photo from the meeting showed a smiling Sheeran doing just that. But Charles, 69, didn’t seem to mind much, as he gave the singer a smile back. Because Sheeran was not made a “Sir” (or knight), the ceremony did not involve the traditional sword tap on the shoulder.
Despite the faux pas, the day was extra special for Sheeran, who revealed that his grandfather, who died four years ago, was a big fan of the royal family.
“Do you know what I love, my grandfather was a massive royalist, he had all the commemorative plates and stuff, and he died on this day four years ago, so it’s actually quite a nice full circle thing, I guess he’d be pretty proud,” he told reporters after the event.
He echoed his statements during the Friday interview, saying, “It was quite cool. My granddad is a huge royalist … My dad was like, ‘He probably would’ve, like, got really emotional and stuff.’ It was cool.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE