Critics scoffed at the choice of a middle-class white girl.“I’ve had that problem since I was 14; since I opened my mouth.Basically you’re dressing up and making pretend like we did as children.
“They should have a normal life, not grow up in this one, because it’s not completely sane.” It certainly isn’t.
Stone and her crew are due at Heathrow in a couple of hours to fly to Mumbai having stopped off in London to check out the Roundhouse, where she’ll be making a rare appearance in May in aid of Barnardo’s.
She sang for Harry’s charity, Sentebale, in Lesotho at the opening of a new centre for children with HIV in November, and at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.
Both brothers, she says, are “good, completely down-to-earth, beautiful human beings. We’re just good friends; he’s a nice, friendly chap who I’ve met at lots of wonderful events.” She is happiest at home in Devon, off the radar, in the house she grew up in and bought from her parents after they divorced when she was 18.
“I was like, let me just check this out because I think my eggs are getting old.
But apparently, as I’m only 28, it’s not a good idea.It doesn’t have to be about what’s ‘culturally appropriate’, because that’s silly and we don’t live in that world anymore.” Stone, who was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was eight and left school with only three GCSEs, has also had to overcome her fury at people thinking she’s stupid. If anyone insinuates that I’m not clever because I can’t put the maths and the spellings together it’s like, ‘Oh no...’,” she says shaking her head.“I always thought I was thick because I couldn’t get it.But then I also speak to a lot of career women who disagree.You don’t want to get to 32 and realise, ‘Shit…’” Still, Stone doesn’t want to be “a mummy on the road with my babies”, either.The trip to India is part of a plan to perform a charity concert in every country in the world. “The UN only recognises 196 but that depends on how you feel politically.I’m probably going to end up doing two hundred and four.” There are no countries she wouldn’t visit, not even North Korea, if it means being able to help people, and she doesn’t seem to mind how much it is costing her. Stone signed her first record deal with EMI at the age of 14 and has sold more than 14 million albums.In 2006 she was the youngest woman on the Sunday Times Rich List.But in 2009, at the height of her fame and wealth, she decided to break her contract with EMI, which cost her millions, and set up her own record label, Stone’d.Then I realised I just have another way of writing.So even if I write it backwards, as long as it ends up in the right order in the end, it’s cool.” Stone, who can’t read music and has described her throat as “my musical instrument”, is a regular performer for the royals, as well as a personal friend of the princes.