Best Man Speech Advice for Prince William

(What to say and what not to say)

In an announcement that shocked nobody, it has been revealed that Prince William will act as Best Man to his brother Harry when he weds Meghan Markle later this month. This is a reversal of the roles performed at William's own wedding, where Harry reportedly delivered a hilarious speech that Wills may find it difficult to top.

When it comes to public speaking, Harry seems like something of a natural showman, whereas William is a little more dignified and reserved. This doesn't mean his speech can't be as good, though; the Prince will simply require a different approach than that of his impish little brother. And if our future King is looking for some advice, our team of professional wedding speechwriters have decided to share a few words of wisdom on the matter - in exchange for a Royal Warrant anointing us as official wordsmiths to the Royal Family.

Who Are You?

It is unlikely there'll be anyone at the royal wedding who doesn't know who Prince William is, but it is always important to introduce yourself anyway. An opening statement about yourself and your relationship to the Groom sets the tone for the rest of the speech, so William should ensure he begins with an introduction that is equal parts heartfelt and humorous.

  1. "My name is William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of the city of Cambridge, brother to honourable Prince Henry of Wales, loyal servant to the true Queen Grandma Elizabeth the Second. Father to a newborn son, husband to a gorgeous wife, recipient of cruel jokes about my hairline. And I will have my vengeance, in this speech or the next."

This opener references the speech Harry gave at William's own wedding which reportedly contained many sassy remarks at his brother's expense. Such jokes are entirely suitable and rather desirable, as you'll get the audience onside early by making them all feel dead clever for remembering stuff. Alternatively, you may wish to ensure the Bride feels included early on, with this introduction transforming into a warm tribute come the end.

  1. "Hello. I am Harry's older brother William. As any other older brothers will know, it's a given that your little bro will come to you needing advice throughout his life. This is true of Harry also, but he's always done the opposite of everything I've said. No don't wear that costume, no don't go to that party, yes you should definitely delete those photos from Vegas. So, knowing his penchant for doing the opposite, when he told me he was going to propose to Meghan I said absolutely, positively never ever marry this terrible, awful woman. She would be the worst thing to happen to your life."

As introductions go, both examples we've shown thus far are quite inoffensive. The second piece may reference moments of controversy, but it does so in a vague and jovial manner, with the incidents themselves provoking nothing more than mild embarrassment from the Groom. In contrast, the following piece touches on an extremely sore subject for the Royals, and if William were to deliver such a line, he'd be more worried about keeping his head than his hair.

  1. "My lords, ladies and gentlemen, when Harry asked me to be his Best Man, I accepted without hesitation. After all we've been through, it's an honour to represent my younger brother at today's happy proceedings. Besides, I need to get him back for all the gags about my hairline when Kate and I got hitched in 2011… you know… back when I had a hairline. Speaking of hair, for any of you wondering where Harry got his luscious, ginger locks, I'd just like to remind you that there's a D notice in place that prevents public discussion of that issue. And that it's technically treason."

The Right Tone

Compiling a list of Prince Harry's sins is a joke writer's dream, and we certainly had fun when we took a shot at it a few months ago. However, whereas our audience was imaginary, Prince William must deliver his speech in front of nobility, foreign dignitaries and that woman whose face is on all my money. It is important to consider your audience regardless of the occasion, but in William's case, he may wish to adopt a diplomatic stance on his brother's notoriously raunchy antics.

  1. "I have to say my father and I were rather worried when Harry told us he planned on wearing an 'official military uniform' to the service. We've been tracking his eBay purchases lately just to make sure."

This line references a moment of shame in the Groom's past but uses a jovial tone to make it clear that the incident has been forgiven. In contrast, the following jokes may be considered too political for a family like the Windsors, with self-awareness hardly a defining characteristic of our nation's Royals.

  1. "Despite the drug dens, the dodgy mates and the public gaffes - Harry's not done bad for a boy who grew up in state accommodation and lives off benefits."

  1. "The army has done my brother good. Where he was once partying, taking drugs, raising hell and causing offence left right and centre, these days he's doing all those things but with squaddies instead of the Kensington set. I think we can all agree that represents an upgrade in decorum and civility. And he's done even more good work in his organisation of the Invictus Games, in which wounded veterans take part in various sporting activities. How apt, given that our family has leaned on the country like a crutch while its economy remains crippled."

Both of these lines may be both accurate and incredibly tempting, but as a Best Man, it is not your job to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You aren't in the witness box today sonny, your sole aim is to entertain the crowd with a cherry-picked selection of suitable quips and quaint memories. And while you may think that identifying the best lines is a simple case of choosing the funniest, the truth is you'll have to consider much more than humour when it comes to compiling your wedding speech.

  1. "Of course, it would be remiss of me to fail to mention some of the less savoury activities our family has become associated with. Known for performing hedonistic acts such as jumping into a pool fully clothed or stripping naked at a Vegas casino, our beloved late Aunt Margaret clearly had an impact on Harry from an early age."

This line would only be suitable if dear old Marge's antics was a source of jokes between those who knew her best, otherwise, you risk upsetting the family just for a few laughs. I bet Queen Liz does make these remarks in private you know, but for appearance's sake, such humour must remain confined to the family.


There can be no doubt that the likes of Charles, Diana and 'Er Maj will receive a few favourable mentions in William's reading. Generous praise of one's kin can turn even the foulest speech into an altogether classier affair, and when these references enlighten us on the character of the individual, the audience will feel included as if they themselves are part of a warm, loving family.

  1. "Despite our various Royal and military duties, the whole family has mucked in to help prepare for Harry's big day. Uncle Ed organised the wedding video, Uncle Andy made sure Aunt Fergie behaved herself, I gave Grandpa Phil that list of words he isn't allowed to say, and our dad made sure the flowers were ready by having a quick word with them this morning."

  1. "What a wedding reception this is! It seems silly now, but we nearly cancelled the do. Grandpa Phil read a piece in a newspaper attacking couples who pay for lavish weddings with welfare handouts from the state, and for one awful moment, we thought they'd finally turned on us! Fortunately, he'd got the wrong end of the stick. And if the nation's Meghan fever is anything to go by, my glamorous new sister-in-law has helped to cement our popularity for decades to come. Not that Kate isn't glamorous, of course. But if I'd known we were allowed to marry Hollywood stars these days, I might have held out for one of the Kardashians."

These lines pay tribute to the bizarre characters within the Royal Family, and the second one hits the double whammy of also including Meghan in the joke - I hear the Bride forms a large part of the ceremony these days. However, jokes about the family can go awry if your setup or payoff is a little harsh, as these two jokes demonstrate.

  1. "I would like to mention a subject which isn't easy for either of us to talk about. As many of you will know, my brother and I endured a terrible loss when we were far too young. This absence is more keenly felt on this of all days more than any other, and if we're honest with ourselves, we both know it's our father who was to blame. I am of course talking about male pattern baldness. You're fooling no-one with that mound of glued-on Wotsit dust."

  1. "As those of you who came to my stag night will know, the Windsor name opens doors to the most exclusive venues in the world … the VIP rooms at Stringfellows, Sunset Strip, Secrets, White Rhino, the list goes on and on. Thankfully, Harry's stag party wasn't as weird as mine, and that's mostly down to Uncle Andrew not being able to bring Jeff Epstein along. That guy knew some weird places."

The first joke requires an oblique reference to the death of Princess Diana to work, and that's hardly suitable for any wedding, let alone a Royal one. The second line hints at the fact that one of Prince Andrew's friends is a notorious paedophile, and once more, you would be advised to avoid bringing up topics like this.

The Royals aren't the only ones with dirty laundry to air, though, as poor Meghan has been forced to deal with several 'revelations' from her fame-hungry half-brother of late. It is crucial that both sides of the family are referenced in some way, but be careful what you say, because even funny lines with the best of intentions can be taken poorly given the emotions of the day; like this one, for example.

  1. "Since the announcement was made the press has tried to stir up some stories on Meghan's relations in a bid to uncover some dirt. A 'broken family' they said, 'an embarrassment', 'a weirdo father who just wants to be left alone'. Gosh, you two really are made for each other."

  1. "Meghan's been married before, and the last time an American divorcee entered the family, her and our Great Uncle Ed got rather chummy with the Nazis as I recall."

That last line wouldn't be too offensive to Meghan herself, but I have a feeling some of the older relatives might take umbrage. Again, how well this would play depends on how much you've all laughed about this together as a family. "Now that I think about it, maybe we were mistaken when Harry wore that SS uniform; he was just dressing up as his great-great uncle." Oh, and speaking of aged relatives, tread lightly when asking for help in writing your speech, because you may find yourself including unsuitable jokes at the firm behest of your elders. Like this one, courtesy of HRH Prince Phillip.

  1. "Now, we're all delighted to welcome Meghan into the fold. She's a breath of fresh air, and a sign of change for our family. After all, as granny said the other day, the last time there was a blackout in the grounds of Windsor Castle was during the Blitz!"

The Bride

One of the most common mistakes Best Men make is to focus on baiting the Groom and neglect to say a few nice things about the Bride. The absence of Bridal material is understandable if you don't know her very well, and this may well be the case with William given Harry and Meghan's relatively short engagement. Getting to know the Bride would obviously help this, but you can just as easily cover your bases by including a few general facts about her, leaving the more detailed character assassinations to the Father of the Bride instead.

  1. "The fact that Harry's marrying an American has sparked a bout of royal fever over there in the States, so if Brexit is followed by a revolution, at least we'll have somewhere to go where we're wanted. We could be the British Kardashians - can you get fillers to give you a stiffer upper lip?"

  1. "With Meghan being American I know she felt awkward when it was rumoured that President Trump might be handed an invitation. Subsequently, we decided to avoid inviting any heads of state to the ceremony, with one notable exception of course (look to the Queen); Prime Minister Jioji Konrote of Fiji! Just kidding Grandad."

  1. "Meghan, of course, is an American by birth, so I hope she's not too disappointed by President Trump's absence today. Contrary to popular belief, we did invite him, but when he found out there wouldn't be cheeseburgers or fried chicken at the wedding breakfast, he plumped for a golfing weekend at Mar El Largo instead."

After you've spoken about the Bride in her own right, you may want to move on and discuss her in the context of her new husband. In this instance, it's probably best to make the Groom the butt of any cruel jokes, rather than taking pot shots at the Bride on her big day.

  1. "Meghan's already carved out a career for herself as an incredibly successful actress, and these talents should come in handy as the years pass by. No, darling, I haven't seen those photos. Of course you're the most handsome royal. Yes, baby, your hairline is magnificent."

  1. "And Meghan, wow, what a beauty. With those looks and that charm, she's clearly born to be a princess. My brother, on the other hand, wouldn't look out of place chugging white lightning round the back of a Spar with a pregnant 15-year-old. Well, what do you expect… he is a jobless benefit scum after all. I jest, of course, but as tradition dictates, I must make my brother squirm with a little snipe in his direction - an opportunity the Taliban would've loved to have taken if he'd spent more than five minutes in Afghanistan."

The second of those lines is certainly the riskier of the two, and if your family has blue blood running through their veins, I doubt many would be happy at you straying into such territory. Similarly, it is quite disrespectful to the Bride and her family if you imply that she is just one of many girls had by the Groom, which this line certainly implies.

  1. "I remember Harry calling me up at Windsor Castle to say that he'd met this amazing girl. 'I'm bringing her home, Harry,' he told me, 'This one's a keeper.' 'You'll have to wait,' I replied, "There are still two or three local birds in the keep that you haven't finished with yet."

Lines like this can prove tempting, but you must resist the urge and remember that you're there to appeal to as many people in the room without offending anyone. Think of yourself as less a Ricky Gervais and more of a Michael McIntyre, except with some actual jokes thrown in. For example, making fun of your grandfather's racist tendencies may be amusing to some, but is it going to make the bride and your granddad feel awkward for the rest of the day? If so, cut it out.

  1. "My kid brother's gorgeous new wife has worked hard her entire life. It's only recently that she retired from acting you know, whereas our old Granddad is going to have to brush up on his own performance skills if we're going to get through this wedding without trouble. No Granddad, you can't say that word even if you've heard people on the TV saying it."

Closing Lines

Every good speech can be made great by a suitable ending, and with the Best Man speech traditionally rounding off the speaking duties, your final words can really set the tone for the remainder of the day. Callbacks are always a crowdpleaser, and the following line could be used in conjunction with our opening line regarding words of wisdom given to a younger sibling.

  1. "I'll end with a piece of brotherly advice as I promised at the beginning. As many of you will know, I've just had a little boy myself. We decided on the name Louis some time ago, but the press went wild with speculation from the moment we announced Kate was expecting. Harry, Meghan, if you want to avoid this I suggest you distract the press by making a premature announcement: tell them you're naming it Joffrey."

That's a fun little joke that would struggle to offend anyone, and it hints at the life yet to come for the newlywed Royals. Throwing a tribute into your final line is often a good idea, but it is up to you as to whether you add on a topper to send the audience away with a laugh or not.

  1. "Meghan, I will end by saying you've made my brother the happiest man in the world, at least until dad gets his arse on the throne. And Harry, mate, I'm just glad you turned up sober and decided against the Hugo Boss suit."

  1. "I thought the happy couple might choose to honeymoon in Rome or Paris. But with Brexit plans in full chaos mode, the last person Britain needs representing us on the continent is Harry. There's too much of the squaddie in him. It could all kick off too easily. Instead, they'll be heading off to the tropics, although they sadly ignored my suggestion to head out to Vanuatu. Don't you know our Grandfather is worshipped as a god there? Surely that'd be enough to sort you a free upgrade."

If you're struggling to think of a solid line to end on, why not ponder some of the family's harsh home truths for inspiration? Are your kin all criminals? Do you like to get rowdy after a drink? If so, a swift reference to your familial traits offers you an easy way to exit your speechwriting duties - although I doubt Prince William would ever risk ending on either of these lines.

  1. "Now, finally, as is traditional at these affairs, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the generous people who have put their hands in their pockets to pay for today's celebration. The cars, the bubbly, the venue ... As ever, no expense has been spared. So, my lords, ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses in a toast … to the British taxpayer!"

  1. "Okay, I need to wrap this up soon as we've all got work tomorrow. Haha, who am I kidding? We're a collective burden on the state!"

Right, that's enough of our free advice your Highness. If you want any more rib-tickling titbits, you're going to have to sign off on that royal seal we've been waiting to stick on our website.


And if any of you fancy yourselves as a comedic royal commentator, why not give old Wills a hand and enter our Best Man Speech Competition? We're looking for comic material that Prince William could use in his forthcoming Best Man speech, so if you reckon you could do better than the blokes we paid to write this article, it's time to put your funny where your mouth is.

The best entry will win a whopping £250 - almost enough for one royal napkin. Three runners-up will also win £50, and you can enter by clicking this right royal link here. Alternatively, feel free to tweet your lines @thebestmanlive or post them on our Facebook page @thebestmansspeech. The competition ends May 19th, so you have approximately two weeks to beat our favourite entry so far.

  1. "If truth be told; Harry and Meghan are both from very different backgrounds. There's no denying it. She grew up in Hollywood, Harry grew up in my shadow. She's spent time on the silver screen, whereas he's more acquainted with a silver spoon. And as a student, Megan briefly moved to Argentina, whereas Harry spent most of his teenage years in Chelsey. Nice girl."