Royal Wedding: A Roundup of TV Coverage Before and on the Big Day

8:00 AM 5/10/2018

by Deirdre Durkan

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials are taking place May 19; here's a guide to some of the specials airing in the U.S. ahead of the ceremony.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - Engagement photo December, 2017 -Getty-LIMITED USE-H 2017
Alexi Lubomirski via Getty Images

Networks across the country are prepping behind-the-scenes footage and interviews of royal experts in celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

In a matter of days, the former Suits star and the prince will be wed in a service set for noon local time (7 a.m. ET) at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Below is a guide to just some of the royal wedding specials leading up to and on the big day. Click here to read more about the wedding itself.

  • 'Meghan Markle: An American Princess'

    Fox will air the two-hour documentary, which will include behind-the-scenes and archival footage of Meghan Markle. Some interviewees include the bride-to-be’s half-sister Samantha, Princess Diana’s former butler and Queen Elizabeth II’s former press secretary.

  • 'Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance'

    The made-for-TV movie will feature the couple’s courtship from their initial meeting, which was set up by friends, and their trip to Botswana. Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser will portray the couple during their courtship. 

  • 'Kate Middleton: Uncommon Bride'

    Markle's future sister-in-law takes the spotlight in this special. As a descendant of coal miners, Kate lacked royal blood, but ended up falling in love and capturing Prince William's heart. The stylish Duchess of Cambridge has become a fashion icon, a mother of three and the future Queen of England. The film will show how the unlikely choice for a royal bride ended up at Windsor Castle.

  • 'Million Dollar American Princesses: Meghan Markle'

    As another American enters the British aristocracy, this special compares Markle's story to other actresses and heiresses who crossed the Atlantic to marry into European nobility, such as Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth. In addition to examining the bride-to-be, the Smithsonian Channel also plans to show how the modern royal fairytale is shifting to be more accepting and tolerant of class and race.

  • 'Harry & Meghan: Royal Rebels'

    Harry & Meghan: Royal Rebels will uncover the most surprising and shocking traditions of Britain’s royal weddings and reveal which of these regimented customs our royal rebels are updating and which ones they are disregarding. From royal guest lists to public displays of affection and dress regulations, the special aims to expose the secrets and traditions of a royal wedding.

  • 'Harry and Meghan: A Very Modern Romance'

    The hourlong special will explore the lives of the couple, their shared interests and their love story.

  • 'Royal Wedding Watch'

    PBS will be hosting a five-part nightly series of special programs leading up to the live broadcast of the royal wedding. This will include showcasing Britain’s royal heritage, history and tradition and how it will influence the union of the royal couple.

  • 'Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance' and 'William & Kate'

    Lifetime will air the Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance special and a rebroadcast of William & Kate, both of which tell the story of how the couples’ relationships started.

  • 'Inside the Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan'

    The hourlong special will be hosted by Today’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who will interview close friends of the couple. It promises to "give viewers an exclusive and unprecedented glimpse into the fairytale romance of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that has captured the imagination and hearts of everyone around the world."

  • '20/20'

    20/20 will take a look at the two most important women in Prince Harry’s life: his mother, Princess Diana, and his soon-to-be bride. The coverage of the royal wedding will focus on the similarities between both women and how Diana transformed the perception of the royal family and how Markle, with her classic style, humanitarian work and career, is poised to redefine the role of royal spouse. Additionally, the special will include the last-minute details leading up to the wedding and an overview of the soon-to-be newlyweds' relationship. Saturday’s special will air after the wedding and include everything from the vows and reception to the royal couple’s first public appearance.

  • 'The Royal Wedding Live With Cord and Tish!'

    After hosting Amazon's coverage of the Rose Parade earlier this year, Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan — aka Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon — will head across the pond to host the royal wedding coverage in a special produced by Funny or Die. The veteran TV duo will team up with their old friend Tim Meadows and special guests to cover the wedding procession and festivities.

  • ‘The Royal Wedding’

    The ceremony will be recorded live and released on Decca Records within hours of the service ending. It will include the wedding ceremony and performances by British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the Choir of St. George's Chapel and Christian gospel group The Kingdom Choir.

  • 'Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding'

    Through a partnership with BritBox, Fathom Events will show the royal wedding in 200 movie theaters in the U.S. without commercials, starting at 10 a.m. local time.

  • 'Prince Harry: Wild No More'

    Prince Harry is tying the knot and his chosen bride is independent, outspoken and American. This one-hour documentary will explore the royal highs and some embarrassing lows.

  • 'Meghan Markle: A Royal Love Story'

    The special delves into Markle’s childhood, growing up as the only daughter of a mixed-race couple in Los Angeles and her career from trainee diplomat to briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal to Hollywood actress. It also explores the rigorous training she must undergo to transform from actress to princess, the sacrifices she will make to enter this life of duty and the modern makeover she has single-handedly given to this most famous of royal families. 

  • 'Secrets of the Royal Wedding'

    The special will go behind the scenes to uncover the secrets of the royal wedding and reveal how Meghan and Harry will merge their lives. It will also detail Meghan's walk down the aisle inside a fairytale castle, which will attract the former Suits star's biggest TV audience ever.

  • Live Coverage

    The ceremony begins at noon local time, or 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT in the U.S. Among the networks that will be carrying live coverage are ABC, BBC America, CBS, E!, Fox News, HBO, NBC and PBS. Several networks, including ABC, CBS and BBC America, will live-stream their coverage. The New York Times also will stream the ceremony on its website.