As James Blunt fans prepare for his long-awaited 2024 tour, we take a look at the singer-songwriter’s life offstage, from his marriage to an aristocratic wife, to the sad loss that inspired one of his most moving songs
Singer-songwriter James Blunt has been very busy of late, with the release of his new album Who We Used To Be pretty much coinciding with the publication of his typically self-deprecating memoir Loosely Based on a Made-Up Story. This marks the 49-year-old’s first album since 2019, and it makes for an emotional listen, with many of the tracks drawing from painful moments in James’ life.
As fans eagerly wait for the musician and pithy Twitter legend’s 2024, and as he makes an appearance on tonight’s The One Show, we take a look at his personal life away from the spotlight, from his marriage to an aristocratic wife, to the devastating loss that inspired a poignant track.
Marriage to ‘strong’ wife
James is married to Sofia Wellesley, an Edinburgh University-educated legal consultant with aristocratic roots. The daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, and granddaughter of the eighth Duke of Wellington, it was perhaps no surprise that James and Sofia received an exclusive invite to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018.
The couple began dating in 2012 and, on September 5, 2014, tied the knot in a private ceremony held at a London registry office, the morning after attending music legend Elton John’s annual End of Summer party in Windsor. As reported by the Mail Online, socialite Sofia joked with pals at the time that she “was almost too hungover to get married”.
No sooner had they said, ‘I do’, the lovebirds jetted off to Majorca for a second ceremony with family and friends, held at Sofia’s mother’s breathtaking Marsana estate. Reflecting on his choice of partner with the Mail Online ahead of the big day, James explained: “It takes a strong person to be able to deal with somebody working in music. It’s hard when you’re with somebody and you become embroiled in something just because you were seen standing next to someone else.” He added: “It takes a tough person to deal with that and I’m lucky to have her.”
James and Sofia are now raising two children together, with their first son born in 2016. Although the proud parents are keen to protect their children’s privacy, it is understood that they chose fellow singer Ed Sheeran as the godfather for their eldest. In an interview with The Sun, Ed revealed: “James is like a brother to me, actually I’m not quite sure if I can say this, but I’m going to — he’s just made me godfather to his son. To be honest, I think he’s only done it because he knows I’ve got a good idea of what sort of person he’d want him to be when he grows up — an absolute lad. We’re going to be brothers for life.”
For his son’s godmother, James opted for his close friend Carrie Fisher, whose death in December 2016 left him “desperately sad” that the youngster would grow up without knowing her. James told People magazine at the time: “She’s the most amazing person I know and I’m really desperately sad he won’t get to know her but I have many memories, many stories I’ll be able to tell him. I don’t know if any of them are safe enough to tell on camera!”
When it came to his latest album, James drew upon his grief for Carrie in the heartbreaking track Dark Thought. In a recent interview with The Sun, James explained: “In the song, it’s a serious story about when I drive to the house and see a For Sale sign outside and shed a tear. But in real life, it was a funny moment when a star tour bus came along and the tour guide said over the Tannoy, ‘And on the left you can see the late, great Carrie Fisher’s house and you can see some fans are still paying their respects’. And that was me blubbing by the gate.”
Another new track, entitled The Girl That Never Was, appears to be about the heartbreaking loss of a child, and James has shared that this one is particularly meaningful to him. He continued: “The song that means the most is The Girl That Never Was and I’ve talked about how we can relate. We all have ambitions to start families at some point – sometimes we have success and sometimes we struggle, which is what the song is about.”
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