Full Week of 'Royal Wedding Watch' Specials Coming to PBS

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a photocall in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace following the announcement of their engagement on November 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo: Credit: Courtesy of Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

​As part of the lead up to the marriage of Prince Harry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle of The United States, PBS brings you an entire week's worth of specials. Prepare yourself for all things Royal Wedding with the Royal Wedding Watch.

Spring is finally here and with it, wedding season. This year, there's no bigger wedding event in the US or the UK than the marriage of Prince Harry of Wales, younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. As most have heard, he's marrying an American actress, Meghan Markle, lately of the TV show Suits, which just finished airing Season 7 on the USA Network. Their wedding will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at St. George Chapel, Windsor Castle, at 12 noon local time. (That's 5 a.m. here on the US east coast.)

It's not every day that a member of the UK royal family gets married. But Prince Harry, who was once the "spare" in "heir and spare" and third-in-line to the royal throne is no longer quite so high up in the chain. With the birth of Prince Louis last month, Harry is officially sixth-in-line for the throne, which makes him far more of a minor royal than he once was. Still, both Diana's children still have serious celebrity status, especially in the US, and the fact that he's marrying a commoner, born in Los Angeles, and who he met in Toronto, means that this wedding is a big deal on both sides of the pond. 

PBS is partnering with the BBC to explain all the details, in a series co-hosted by ABC's Meredith Vieira and BBC's Matt Baker. Starting on Monday, May 14, PBS stations will be devoting a full week to nightly coverage leading up to the event.

From the press release:

During the week prior to the ceremony, which will occur in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, the hosts will be joined in-studio by experts, commentators and special guests. BBC presenter and host Anita Rani will report live from  Windsor each night, and English historian Lucy Worsley, Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, will delve into the pageantry, pomp, and protocol surrounding Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. [It] will also showcase Britain’s rich royal heritage and illuminate how history and tradition will influence the union of this modern couple.

Unlike the marriage of William (who is second-in-line and almost sure to inherit as long as the monarchy remains standing), Harry isn't getting married in London. There will be no golden carriage rides through the streets or down the Mall, nor will there be a Buckingham Palace kiss photo. As befitting his ability to get away with it, Harry and Meghan are getting married on the grounds of Windsor Castle, located in Berkshire, and though they are doing a carriage ride post-wedding, everything is expected to be far more low-key.

 

But that doesn't mean fans and Anglophiles won't eat up all the details. And the fact that Harry is getting married differently than Wills did back in 2011 only makes it more interesting. As Shawn Halford, PBS’ Senior Director of Programming,sees it:

From cakes to choristers, banquets to bouquets, gowns to crowns, viewers will get a fun and informative insider’s briefing on royal etiquette, an unprecedented look at the elaborate planning, secrecy, and care that goes into this royal wedding that has captured the imagination of people around the world.

And for those who just want to believe in the Disney-esque fantasy of a commoner being swept off her feet by a real live prince, this is the show for them too: As Meredith Vieira put it:

Americans find the British royals incredibly fascinating, and Royal Wedding Watch is the ultimate backgrounder leading up to this historic moment when our American beauty marries her prince.

The Royal Wedding Watch begins on Monday, May 14, 2018, and will air on most local PBS stations at 10 p.m. ET. The series will continue to air nightly at 10 p.m. from Tuesday, May 15 through Thursday, May 17, with the final episode airing Friday, May 18, at 10: 30 p.m. PBS will also air the Royal Wedding itself in full, starting bright and early Saturday morning, around 4:30 a.m. ET.