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How to view the royal wedding

How to view the royal wedding

Most networks are planning at least five hours of live coverage
How to view the royal wedding
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 in Bath, England.
Photographer: tribune news service

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle march down the aisle in Windsor, England, on Saturday, May 19, they’ll be watched by 600 invited guests and additional untold numbers of nosy onlookers.

And that’s just the American TV hosts.

Ha, ha, we kid. Sort of. There’ll be cameras positioned inside St. George’s Chapel to televise and live stream the hotly anticipated nuptials between the queen’s roguish redheaded grandson and his American actress beloved. And U.S. broadcast and cable networks are taking full advantage of it.

(And not just them. Fathom Events announced it will show the wedding and festivities commercial-free and almost live at select movie theaters around the country.)

The wedding ceremony is scheduled for 7 a.m. EDT (noon in the U.K.). Most networks are planning at least five hours of live coverage starting as early as 5 a.m. on the big day.

That’s all?


From more dignified PBS specials to a brand new Lifetime movie featuring Harry and Meghan “look-alikes” (you be the judge), there’ll be gobs of royal wedding-related programming in the days leading up to the ceremony. It won’t even end with the “I do’s” as there’ll be replays and more specials for hours afterwards.

Here’s your royal wedding viewing guide.

The Wedding Day (May 19)

ABC: 5 a.m. Special five-hour live edition of “Good Morning America” from Windsor hosted by “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts and “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir. Simulcast on ABCNews.com, GoodMorning.com, mobile and social.

CBS: 4 a.m. Live coverage anchored by “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King and “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Kevin Frazier. Also shown live on 24/7 streaming news network CBSN.

NBC: 4:30 a.m. Special 6 1/2-hour edition of “TODAY at the Royal Wedding” from Windsor anchored by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. Live stream on TODAY.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

PBS: It will show the wedding live. No information available yet what time its coverage will start.

BBC America: Live direct simulcast and streaming of coverage by the BBC in the U.K. Commentary by BBC experts and limited commercial interruption. The cable channel hasn’t said yet what time its coverage will start.

E! News: 5 a.m. Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski host a five-hour “Live from the Royal Wedding” from Windsor. One-hour recap at 7 p.m.

Fox News Channel: 5 a.m. Ainsley Earhardt hosts “Fox and Friends Weekend” live from Windsor. Live coverage of the wedding and surrounding festivities continues at 6 a.m. with chief news anchor Shepard Smith and America’s Newsroom co-anchor Sandra Smith outside St. George’s Chapel. Live stream on Foxnews.com.

HBO: 7:30 a.m. “The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish!” Co-hosted by Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan, aka Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon, with Tim Meadows and produced by Funny or Die. Hopefully they’ll put fewer noses out of joint than they did with their unique live coverage of this year’s Rose Parade. Or not. Replay at 9:45 p.m.

In movie theaters: Fathom Events and Brit Box, a subscription service that brings BBC and ITV shows from the U.K. to American TVs, are teaming up for this screening of the nuptials “captured live” from Windsor and presented commercial-free, starting at 10 a.m. (i.e. three hours after the opening strains of the wedding march). Tickets are available at www.FathomEvents.com or participating box offices.

Specials, movies and other programming

“Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance,” Lifetime. The network better known for flicks like “Deadly Matrimony” and “Unsolved Mysteries” reruns brings us this made-for-TV movie about, well, the title says it all. Murray Fraser and Parisa Fitz-Henley are the sorta look-alikes portraying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

“Million Dollar American Princesses: Meghan Markle,” Smithsonian Channel. This absorbing documentary series began with the 19th century American heiresses whose real life stories inspired “Downton Abbey” and has since moved on to more modern subjects like movie stars who married into royalty. This special edition uses archival footage and interviews to look at Markle’s story in the context of Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth and other Americans who married into the European aristocracy.

“Royal Wedding Watch,” 10 p.m., PBS. Meredith Viera and U.K. host Matt Baker anchor this five-night series (it airs at 10:30 p.m. on May 18 only) that will look at the history, ceremonies and traditions helping to shape this royal wedding.

“Inside the Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan,” 10 p.m., May 16, NBC. Hosted by “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, this one-hour special includes interviews with close friends of the couple, insider reports on wedding fashions, guests and more.

“Royal Slumber Party,” 7:45 p.m., May 18, Freeform. Wedding-themed movies and the like air leading up to Freeform’s simulcast of the special royal wedding edition of “Good Morning America” at 5 a.m. Saturday.

“20/20,” 10 p.m., May 18, ABC. David Muir and Deborah Roberts lead this look at “the two most important women in Prince Harry’s life:” Markle and his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. This special edition will also cover last-minute details of the wedding, which will be just hours away.

“A Royal Celebration,” 1 p.m., May 19, Hallmark Channel. Kicking off with an encore presentation of “Dater’s Handbook,” the 2016 TV movie starring Markle, Hallmark presents a daylong movie marathon, four of which have royal romance themes. It all culminates at 9 p.m. with the premiere of “Royally Ever After,” about an American commoner (Fiona Gubelmann) whose boyfriend (Torrance Coombs) secretly is a prince of a small European country.

“Royal Romance: The Marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,” 8 p.m., May 19, CBS. A two-hour special recapping all the happenings of the big day.

“20/20,” 10 p.m., May 19, ABC. Another special edition recaps the wedding, events before and after the ceremony and offers “other inside details.”

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