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
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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'

    Friday, May 11, 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox

    Getty Images

    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'

    Sunday, May 13, 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime

    From left: Parisa Fitz-Henley, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Murray Frazer
    From left: Parisa Fitz-Henley, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Murray Frazer
    Courtesy of Lifetime (2); Jack Taylor/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

    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'

    Sunday, May 13, 11:20 p.m. ET/PT on Biography

    Kate Middleton
    Kate Middleton
    Sam Hussein/WireImage

    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'

    Sunday, May 13, 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Smithsonian Channel

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    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'

    Sunday, May 13, 10:20 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime

    Getty Images

    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'

    Monday, May 14, 8 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America

    Getty Images

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

  • 'Royal Wedding Watch'

    Monday-Thursday, May 14-17, 10-11 p.m. ET on PBS

    Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

    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'

    Tuesday, May 15, 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime

    Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    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'

    Wednesday, May 16, 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC

    WPA Pool/Getty Images

    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'

    Friday, May 18, 10–11 p.m. ET and Saturday, May 19, 10–11 p.m. ET on ABC

    Samir Hussein/Getty Images

    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!'

    Saturday, May 19, 7:30 a.m. ET on HBO (with a replay at 9:45 p.m.)

    Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan, aka Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon
    Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan, aka Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon
    Screengrab/YouTube

    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’

    Recording available on digital platforms on May 19, with a physical release May 25 through Decca Records

    Danny Martindale/WireImage

    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'

    Pool/Getty Images

    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'

    Friday, May 18, 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC

    Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

    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'

    Friday, May 18, 9 p.m. ET/PT on TLC

    Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images

    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'

    Friday, May 18, 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC

    Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

    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

    Saturday, May 19, at various times

    Pool/Getty Images

    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.