Best Man Speech From Pippa Middleton's Wedding

(May 2017)

Know your audience is the number-one point we try to smash home on, but the best man at Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Matthews was found wanting in that crucial regard. While much of his material might have played well at a less ostentatious affair, there were inclusions that broke the golden rules of best man's speech writing; don't tell a joke that may make the bride feel uncomfortable. An obvious no-no should have been this gag:

"Now to the love of James' life: beautiful, energetic, loyal, soft-mouthed, comes on command, great behind. But that is enough about Jame's spaniel, Rafa, I'm here to talk about James' love, Pippa."

To be safe, the bride should be considered completely off-limits as a subject for humour. This was Pippa's special day and I'm sure the last thing she needed was for her husband's mate to compare her to a spaniel.

This is also an unfortunate choice of joke:

"There was a time when both James and I were single. We took ourselves off on a boys' weekend. I proclaimed to James that I was going to try it on with anything that moves. 'I said to James, 'what are you going to do?' He said: 'Stand very still.'"

Amusing incidents from the groom's past can be gold dust, but mentioning bachelor lifestyles and boy's weekends should be avoided. The casual homophobia emerges throughout the speech and conjures up the worst kind of locker-room behaviour.

"After Formula 3, James pursued a career in the world of finance joining his brother at Lloyds. Once again his gullibility was tested after his team sent him to a bar in Soho to get the drinks then, since was full of people not of James' sexual persuasion, decided not to go at all."

The best man takes a moment to dial things back and do a little damage limitation by painting an affectionate portrait of the new Bride. Regrettably, there is this final misjudge to come:

"With the wedding shadowed in secrecy, I can reveal, and wish the bride and groom a happy honeymoon in North Wales. At least that's where I presume they are going as I heard Spencer saying that after the wedding, he [James] was going to Bangor for two weeks. Enjoy the Welsh coast, guys."

This would be enjoyable for some crowds, but not this one! A safer option should have been explored, skirting the line of acceptability, but never crossing it. Like the following joke, which makes sure to elevate the bride's achievements in its set-up, before reminding us of her most famous asset in its punch-line.

  1. Pippa is a successful writer, but it's worth remembering what first brought her to the public's attention back in 2011. They say behind every great man there is a great woman. But behind James there's a great woman with a great behind.