he Duke of Sussex has claimed he was not the real best man at his brother the Prince of Wales’s wedding.
Harry reportedly said the ruse was carried out to save William’s two closest friends, James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee, from the attention the role would bring to their private lives.
Writing in his highly anticipated memoir, Spare, which was accidentally released early in Spain, the duke describes his apparent role as best man as a “bare-faced lie”, and says Mr Meade and Mr Van Straubenzee gave the traditional speech at the reception.
According to the Daily Mirror – one of the many media outlets to obtain a copy of the Spanish version and translate it – Harry writes: “Willy doesn’t want me giving a best man’s speech.”
The Duke also claims his brother was “wasted” on rum hours before his wedding to Kate, and was drunk when he went out to greet people on The Mall before tying the knot.
Harry said he could smell “the aftermath of last night’s rum” on his “tipsy” brother’s breath, and that he offered William some mints as he lowered the windows of their car, telling him: “You smell of alcohol.”
Writing about his own wedding seven years later, Harry claims William ordered him to shave his beard as he could not stand the thought of his younger brother having a perk he was denied.
“At one point he actually ordered me, as the heir speaking to the spare, to shave,” he writes.
The book, due out on Tuesday and ghost written by JR Moehringer, comes after Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, in which the duke said he was terrified when William screamed and shouted at him during a tense Sandringham summit in 2020.
The memoir is being published four months after the death of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the start of his father’s reign as King, and follows years of turmoil for the royal family amid the Megxit crisis, the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, accusations of racism in the Sussexes’ Oprah interview and the brothers’ long-running feud.