Prince Harry has recounted how his appearance as best man for Prince William at the 2011 Royal wedding was ‘all for show’.
And now friends of the warring brothers also suggest the same strategy may have been deployed during Harry’s wedding in 2018.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There have long been rumours in Harry’s circle that there was another best man, in secret. William was the public-facing best man but not the sole best man, nor the true best man in Harry’s eyes.’
Harry had several ushers on his big day, including his fellow polo-player Jack Mann and his closest friend Charlie van Straubenzee, brother of Prince William’s best friend Thomas.
Prince William and Prince Harry at the Duke of Sussex’s wedding to Meghan Markle. Friends of Harry have now suggested there was ‘another best man’ other than William at the wedding
Friends of the warring brothers have now said that Prince Harry similarly had ‘another best man’ hinting that his fellow polo-player Jack Mann took on the role of top Usher
Prince William and his wife Kate on their wedding day on April 29, 2011, followed by Prince Harry and Kate’s Maid of Honour and sister, Pippa Middleton. In his sensational tell-all Spare, Harry claimed he was forced to go along with his brother’s ‘bare-faced lie’ that he was the best man
Who is Jack Mann, Prince Harry’s ‘favoured usher’?
Prince Harry befriended Jack Mann at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He is the son of Simon Mann, a SAS officer turned mercenary, who was jailed for five years for allegedly tried to overthrow the government in Equatorial Guinea in 2004.
Harry’s friend served with the British Arm for tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the army he worked in Libya as a country manager for a UK security company called Aegis Defence Services.
He went to create his own private security company in 2015 called Alma Risk.
Some friends believe it was an usher who acted as best man, and expressed surprise that the detail had been omitted from Spare, given Harry had confessed to being a fake best man for William.
According to one friend, Mr Mann has long been described by those close to him as Harry’s favoured usher – or ‘best man’.
He had previously been referred to as Harry’s so-called ‘deputy best man’ by a source who attended a lunch with the Duke, Charlie van Straubenzee and his ‘surrogate godfather’ Mark Dyer in 2021 following Prince Phillip’s funeral.
Mr Mann recently appeared in the fourth episode of the Sussexes’ Netflix documentary series Harry & Meghan, which revealed previously unseen pictures of their wedding receptions.
The Duke and Mr Mann, who became friends while at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, was pictured among a group of men at Harry’ wedding, as they partied at Frogmore House in Windsor Castle.
Last month, Mr Mann was detained by security officials before travelling to war-torn Libya, being questioned by Maltese police who challenged his claim that he was on a mission to deliver medical training.
Maltese police later confirmed to the Mail that they ‘spoke to the passengers for clarification of the proposed activities in Libya’ and that no further action was taken.
The former army member, said he and his colleagues, which included other former British soldiers, had been stopped at an airport in Malta, a Mediterranean Island around 223 miles north of Libya.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carriage after their wedding at St George’s Chapel on May 19 2019
Last week, Mr Mann was detained by security officials in war-torn Libya, being questioned by Maltese police who challenged his claim that he was on a mission to deliver medical training. Pictured: Prince Harry and Jack Mann at the Mann Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot, 2015
Mr Mann confirmed: ‘We did not continue the journey from Malta [to Libya] on the advice of Maltese immigration to rectify our paperwork before travelling onwards.
Jack Mann is the son of SAS officer turned mercenary Simon Mann (pictured) whose alleged bid to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea in 2004 led to a five-year stint behind bars
‘The issue was resolved within five days and the United Nations has confirmed there was no breach of sanctions.
‘They [Alma Risk] are free to deliver the training.
‘I have visited Libya previously in my role as a private security consultant. ‘
Prince Harry’s friend is also the son of SAS officer turned mercenary Simon Mann, whose alleged bid to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea in 2004 led to a five-year stint behind bars.
Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, admitted unwittingly being a financier behind the attempted coup. He said he was misled by its organisers.
Mr Mann, who is newly engaged, hosted the Duchess of Sussex for dinner parties at his West London home during the early days of her courtship with Harry.
However, he is thought to have grown apart from Harry since the wedding. In Spare, the Prince explains that appearances can be deceptive at Royal weddings, revealing that it was a ‘barefaced lie’ that he was William’s best man.
Mr who is newly engaged, hosted the Duchess of Sussex for dinner parties at his West London home during the early days of her courtship with Harry
Prince Harry sensationally claimed in book Spare that he was forced to go along with his brother’s ‘bare-faced lie’ that he was the best man at his wedding in 2011 (pictured at Westminster Abbey above)
Harry has also alleged that there was a fight between him and the Prince of Wales after he called Meghan Markle ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’. Pictured together after the Queen’s death in September 2022
Prince William’s close friends, Thomas Van Straubenzee (left) and James Meade (right), gave the traditional best man’s speech at the couple’s reception – rather than Prince Harry
He said his brother’s close friends James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee actually gave the traditional speech at the reception.
He said: ‘Willy didn’t want me giving a best man’s speech.’
At Harry’s wedding, Meghan broke tradition by giving a fairy-tale-themed speech of her own, but it has never been reported that Prince William spoke at length – and if he did, Harry does not describe him doing so in Spare.
Instead, he says his brother ruined the seating plan at the evening dinner by swapping place cards on his table so that couples were seated apart, in the English tradition.
It was Meghan’s preference that couples should be seated together.
Harry also explains that William did not want to spend time with him the night before the ceremony and only attended a pre-wedding ushers’ dinner after the Queen intervened. Last night, Mr Mann said: ‘I’m not going to comment on anything to do with this.’
Mr Mann served with the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan before setting up a private security company in 2015 called Alma Risk.
Prior to this he worked in Libya as a country manager for a different UK security company, Aegis Defence Services.
Alma Risk’s website says the company offers a ‘diverse range of security and risk management services to corporate and private clients’.
In other claims amid the 557 pages of the memoir, the Prince told of how William was ‘tipsy on last night’s rum’ just hours before he married Kate, while greeting members of the public who had gathered on the Mall by Buckingham Palace.
Harry recalls that he said to his brother ‘you smell of alcohol’ before handing him mints as he lowered the window of the car.
The remarks come amid his deeply personal war of words with William – who he accused of pushing him over onto a dog bowl during a blazing row at Nottingham Cottage in 2019.
The fight allegedly broke out after William called Meghan ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’.
In another alleged fight Harry claimed his brother ‘lunged’ at him and ‘grabbed his shirt twice’ in front of King Charles during a row over Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Harry said William used a secret code phrase about their mother Princess Diana during the fight following Prince Phillip’s funeral.
The California-based royal said Prince William was ‘really steaming’ and grasped at him as he tried to walk away from the fight.
Harry claimed at the time he had been trying to address bullying allegations made by Meghan but said his father and brother ‘weren’t listening’.
Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir will be released in the UK on January 10, but copies have already leaked and the book was accidentally published early in Spain
William allegedly ‘grabbed him again’ as he tried to walk away and ‘twisted him’ so they could maintain eye contact.
It was then that William said their ‘secret code’ swearing on Princess Diana’s life that his intentions were genuine.
He writes that William said: ‘Harold, you must listen to me! I just want you to be happy, Harold. I swear I swear on Mummy’s life.’
Harry continued: ‘He stopped. I stopped. Pa stopped. He’d gone there.
‘He’d used the secret code, the universal password. Ever since we were boys those three words were to be used only in times of extreme crisis.’
The Duke claimed his brother ‘wasn’t quite ready to accept defeat’ and claimed to be ‘properly sick and ill’ over the tensions between the pair.
William allegedly reiterated: ‘I swear to you now on Mummy’s life that I just want you to be happy’.
Harry has talked openly of wanting to reconcile with his father and his sibling, despite his extraordinary claims plunging the Royal Family into its worst crisis since the death of his mother in 1997.