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story.lead_photo.caption Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot noon London time on May 19.

It's finally time, fellow Anglophiles! It's time to start getting serious about all the specials leading up to the fairy tale wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Or to quote a co-worker who grumbled under her breath last week, "I'm sick and tired of all this royal wedding nonsense."

Keep calm and carry on. All the specials will prepare us for the magical Disney-esque ceremony on May 19, which I plan to watch live (see below).

Of course, fans of USA's Suits have already seen Markle as Rachel Zane marry her Prince Charming, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), in the Season 7 finale last month. That marked the end for both characters on the series. Mike and Rachel moved to Seattle to start a new job.

But let's get back to real life.

If you watch only one special, make it Meghan Markle: An American Princess, airing at 7 p.m. Friday on Fox. The two-hour special will fill in all the blanks of Markle's life before Harry and tell us "how her background as an actress and her passion for activism fits in with her future as a member of the royal family."

If you're keeping track, Prince Harry is now sixth in line for the throne after Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and baby Prince Louis, born April 23.

But proper peerage praxis can be perplexing. Despite the word being used in the title of several of the specials, Markle will not -- not -- be a princess. "Princess Meghan" is incorrect.

People magazine explains: "If the queen grants Prince Harry a dukedom, as she did Prince William upon his 2011 marriage to Kate Middleton, Harry most likely will be made the Duke of Sussex. That would make Markle 'Meghan, Duchess of Sussex,' mirroring Kate's official title of Duchess of Cambridge."

Duchess sounds pretty swanky to me. Markle will be the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937, when the Duke of Windsor, Prince Edward (the erstwhile King Edward VIII), married American socialite and double divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson. Edward had to abdicate the throne to get that done.

Not everyone was happy. Simpson became known to the sanctimonious British elite as "that woman."

It's all connected: Edward abdicated; his brother, George VI, assumed the throne; George died and Elizabeth (Harry's paternal grandmother) became Queen Elizabeth II.

Times have changed. By all accounts, the Brits love Markle, probably because she has that Diana spunk and sparkle. Yet Markle is also a divorcee. She was married to actor/producer Trevor Engelson from 2011-13. And she's biracial and a feminist and an older woman (as is Kate; Meghan is 36, Harry's 33).

The special will feature folks from Markle's past, including schoolmates and co-stars. British journalist Piers Morgan will provide insight on life in the traditional royal household, and Markle's half sister, Samantha Markle, will discuss Meghan's upbringing and the racial prejudice their family often faced.


Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, 7 p.m. Sunday on Lifetime. Yes, of course there's a Lifetime movie! This is a fictionalized account of the romance. Parisa Fitz-Henley plays Meghan and Murray Fraser is Harry. Think of it as When Harry Met Meghan.

Royal Wedding Watch. This five-part countdown series airs at 9 p.m. Monday through May 17 on PBS and AETN, and 9:30 p.m. May 18. The specials will be hosted by Meredith Vieira.


Set your alarm early May 19 if you want to watch the wedding live from St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The actual ceremony will take place at 6 a.m. (noon London time) in front of 800 close, personal invited friends and will last an hour. That'll be followed by the newlyweds' carriage procession where we'll see if Meghan has mastered that odd, wrist-twisting "royal wave."

The Royal Wedding, 3 a.m. on CBS. Hosts are Tina Brown, Gayle King and Kevin Frazier.

E! Live From the Royal Wedding, 4 a.m. on E!. Five hours of coverage. Hope they shout out, "Who are you wearing?"

Good Morning America Special Edition, 4 a.m. Robin Roberts and David Muir start hosting five hours of live coverage.

Today, 4:30 a.m. on NBC. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb report live overlooking Windsor Castle.

The Royal Wedding. BBC America plans to simulcast BBC One's live coverage of the event with limited commercial breaks. Away from the TV? BBC America also will be streaming live coverage and commentary. Go to to sign on. The network says that despite it being a royal wedding, "You can watch in your pajamas."

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:

Weekend on 05/10/2018

Print Headline: Royal wedding end in a long line of TV coverage


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