Prince Harry Writes That Prince William Was “Drunk” on the Morning of His Wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011

To Harry, William’s wedding day represented “yet another farewell.”

Prince William and Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

According to an excerpt from Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, the Duke of Sussex claims that his older brother, Prince William, was tipsy just hours before he married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey.

Harry—who stood at his brother’s side for his big day, and vice versa when Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018—writes, according to Hello, that William was “drunk” as the two greeted well-wishers on the Mall that morning.

“Harry described rolling down the car windows ahead of the appearance and offering his groom-to-be brother a mint to help mask the scent of rum, which he had been drinking the previous evening,” the outlet reports. “Harry also explained that William looked like he hadn’t slept a wink as he picked him up for his big day and, despite William’s attempts to reassure his younger brother that he was fine, Harry wasn’t convinced.”

Harry also writes that William had confessed to him he was “frustrated” in the leadup to his wedding, mostly surrounding “his lack of choice, including his wedding outfit,” Hello reports.

His brother’s wedding day proved difficult for Harry, who said of William marrying Kate that it felt like “yet another farewell,” People reports.

“The brother I’d escorted into Westminster Abbey that morning was gone—forever,” Harry writes. “Who could deny it? He’d never again be first and foremost Willy. We’d never again ride together across the Lesotho countryside with capes blowing behind us. We’d never again share a horsey-smelling cottage while learning to fly. Who shall separate us? Life, that’s who.”

Harry added in the memoir, “and I recall Willy walking her back up the aisle, and as they disappeared through the door, into the carriage that would convey them to Buckingham Palace, into the eternal partnership they’d pledged, I recall thinking: Goodbye.”

And speaking of Westminster Abbey, the book also reveals, per Us Weekly, that William told his brother that he couldn’t marry Meghan Markle at that same location, as he and Kate had already done it. Harry and Meghan ultimately married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The totality of Spare hits shelves this Tuesday, January 10. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

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.