The Hardest Best Man’s Speech Ever? An Open Letter to Prince Harry

prince harryYour Highness (or can I call you Harry?)

Apparently there’s some sort of wedding coming up. Something to do with the future King and Queen of Great Britain. I know, it’s been easy to miss – you’d think they’d have publicised it a bit more, wouldn’t you?

Anyway, as these last few days tick down I hear you’re putting the finishing touches to your best man’s speech, and thought I’d give you a few words of advice.

Being in the same country as the wedding certainly helps. Not sure what you were thinking of with that whacky “getting stranded at the north pole” gag. In my day we used to play those sorts of pranks on the stag, but I guess I’m out of practise with the whole stag do mullarkey…

When it comes to the speech itself, one of the first things I advise people to do is understand who their audience will be. You should then use this information to make sure you don’t drop any clangers which may offend or upset people. Of course, you have a pretty tough crowd compared to most, what with the grandparents and the like being there (or Her Majesty, as I like to call her).

I’d usually recommend that you avoid offending the most conservative members of the crowd; if you manage that, the rest should be a doodle. However in your case I’ll make an exception: anything which your grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, will find funny or acceptable should be avoided at any cost. Trust me on this one.

I don’t want to make you nervous here, but this is going to be one of the most high profile best man speeches of the bank holiday weekend, so make sure you keep it nice and uncontroversial.

I know there are expectations of the best man (to be funny, rib the groom, etc.), and I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but you need to remember that this is the bride’s big day. She’s already got the pressure of the whole world scrutinising her hair and dress; she doesn’t want to worry about being upset by you making some offensive or inappropriate comment about her new husband, and thus ruining the day.

And bear in mind that, as future King, Wills could have you banged up in the Tower. Just because it hasn’t happened for a few hundred years doesn’t mean it can’t happen now…

So be complimentary about the bride, say how wonderful she looks and how lucky your big brother is. Keep the speech nice and personal: he chose you for a reason, and I’ll wager it’s not just for your comic abilities (on this note, fancy dress is a big no-no, but I’m guessing you’ve learned that lesson by now…). You are one of the people he is closest to, and while he’s expecting some mild humiliation, he’ll appreciate some words on what he means to you.

Keep the speech nice and short. It’s going to be a long day and the last thing everyone needs is you keeping them from the dance floor with a speech the length of the Magna Carta.

And finally, keep off the booze until after the speech – one thing the press will love is reporting how you slurred and staggered through your speech, so don’t give them the opportunity.

So, good luck!

Oh, and pass on my thanks to your brother for the free bank holiday…




Peter D Oxley
Pete Oxley is a freelance writer and business manager who lives in the English Home Counties. He enjoys reading and writing in a wide range of areas but his main passions are sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction and Steampunk. Influences include HG Wells, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, KW Jeter, Scott Lynch, Clive Barker and Joss Whedon. Author of the non-fiction book "The Wedding Speech Manual" and the historical fantasy series "The Infernal Aether". He lives with his wife, two young sons and a slowly growing guitar collection. Probably a masochist: aside from writing and willingly speaking in front of large crowds of strangers, Pete spends his spare time playing music badly and supporting football teams that play badly.

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