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Unexpected reason Prince William didn't choose 'wildly inappropriate' best man Prince Harry

The Prince of Wales had two close friends as his best men

william harry wedding
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Despite appearing to support his brother at the altar and even confessing he gave a speech at Prince William's wedding in 2011, Prince Harry has admitted that he was not his best man.

It was long assumed that the Prince of Wales' obvious choice would be his brother, but the Duke of Sussex refuted this claim in his memoir, Spare, even calling the notion a "bare-faced lie" that they went along with to deceive the paparazzi.

WATCH: Prince Harry's unexpected comments on Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding

"The public had been told that I was to be best man, but that was a bare-faced lie. The public expected me to be best man, and thus the Palace saw no choice but to say that I was," began Harry.

In fact, Prince William chose not one but two best men in his close friends James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee, whom Harry described as "two civilians, two innocents" who were "shy" and "quiet."

harry royal wedding 2011

Prince Harry was believed to be the best man, while Pippa Middleton was her sister's bridesmaid

With the intense media interest surrounding the royal wedding, the future King didn't want to force them into the public eye. "Had they been outed as Willy’s best men, the rabid press would’ve chased them, tracked them, hacked them, investigated them, ruined their families' lives," Harry explained, adding: "They couldn’t handle such an onslaught, and shouldn’t be expected to."

NOW SEE: Prince William 'frustrated' he had no say in royal wedding outfit

james thomas best men© Photo: Getty Images

James Meade (right) and Tom van Straubenzee (left), pictured above at James' wedding, were Prince William's best men

And this wasn't the only reason – the Duke added that the best man's speech concerned William. Traditionally, best men often include cheeky anecdotes to embarrass the groom and entertain the guests. With celebrities such as Elton John in attendance, as well as William's royal relatives and Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton, he did not want Harry to "say something wildly inappropriate."

"In truth, Willy didn’t want me giving a best-man speech. He didn’t think it safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off script. I might say something wildly inappropriate. He wasn’t wrong," he said. "We even had a laugh about it, speculating about the inappropriate things I might’ve said in my speech."

harry william wedding 2011

Harry revealed William was worried about his best man's speech

Elsewhere in the book, Harry admitted that he did give an improvised speech at William and Kate's wedding reception, which took place at Buckingham Palace.

Alongside funny anecdotes from his childhood with William, Harry shared extracts from letters of support sent by the public – and he took the opportunity to pass on a cheeky gift to the Princess of Wales. One man from the United States had created a leathery ermine thong from two stoats, which Harry pulled out of his pocket for Kate.

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