News broke this past week that Prince Harry wasn’t present for the wedding of Jack Mann, who was apparently Harry’s real best man at his 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle (though his older brother Prince William stood next to Harry at the altar and was his “official” best man, Mann was the “unofficial” one—signifying his importance in the Duke of Sussex’s life).
Harry and Mann met at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; both are Afghanistan and Iraq veterans and, in more recent years, have played polo together. And while it’s no secret how Harry’s family feels about his revelations through his and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries, his memoir Spare, and other interviews, apparently his friends are also miffed at his bombshells. Harry said so himself in Spare, writing “Several close mates and beloved figures in my life had chastised me for Oprah [Harry and Meghan’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in March 2021]. How could you reveal such things? About your family? I told them that I failed to see how speaking to Oprah was any different from what my family and their staffs had done for decades—briefing the press on the shy, planting stories…The only difference was that Meg and I were upfront about it.”
Royal expert Rebecca English said, per The Daily Mail, that Harry’s friends are “very hurt” by his candor and feel he has “not repaid the loyalty” they have shown him—case in point: Harry skipping Mann’s wedding. The fallout has been profound, she said. “From what I hear, there are a lot of people who are genuinely disgusted by what he’s done since leaving the royal family,” she said on the podcast “Palace Confidential.” She continued “They feel very hurt by some of the revelations that he’s made. As they were growing up, William and Harry created a very close-knit circle of friends around each other. There was almost a kind of omertá between them. There are people who said, ‘We’ve been very loyal to him over the years, and we don’t feel that loyalty’s been repaid.’”
There is apparently disappointment that neither Harry nor Meghan attended Mann’s own big day. The Daily Mail’s Richard Eden, also speaking on “Palace Confidential,” said “We don’t know if Jack Mann’s become estranged from Harry or not, but in Harry’s memoirs, at the end he talks about how he was ‘chastised’—in his words—after the [Oprah] interview by some of his closest friends. He’s done a lot of damage to those old relationships.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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