How to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding this Saturday

Gino Spocchia

There's not long to go until the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which takes place this Saturday. The invitations have been dispatched, the cake is being iced and the final flourishes are being added to the wedding gown. For those of us not lucky enough to be among the members of the public invited to Windsor, the next best option is to watch live from home. 

As with previous royal weddings and milestone celebrations, you can expect hours of television coverage streamed live from the lawns of Windsor Castle and the heights of St George's Chapel nave. 

This wedding will go beyond the heights of Suits, in which Ms Markle stars, or The Crown. There will be as much tradition and pomp as any drama or history series ever needed. 

The schedule for the royal day means you can expect cheering crowds in any weather packing the pavements of Windsor and thousands celebrating in their local communities at street parties across the nation. 

To make sure you catch every second on TV - including the dizzying spectacle of the FA Cup Final which falls on the same day - read on.  

Not long to go... Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the day they announced their engagement Credit: Paul Grover for the Telegraph

When is the wedding, again?

The Prince and Ms Markle are set to be married this weekend (Saturday, 19 May). Clear your diary.

The hour-long ceremony will begin at 12:00pm sharp at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, but expect several hours of TV coverage first as the excitement and anticipation builds.

The service, conducted by the Dean of Windsor, will end around 1pm when Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken their vows - officiated by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Will the wedding be on television?

Yes, you'll be able to catch all the action from your sofa. The wedding and procession will be televised live on networks around the world. A single pool camera will capture the nuptials so many channels will be able to broadcast it. 

It's highly unlikely that we'll catch a glimpse of the two wedding receptions. They are private events for guests only. 

In the UK, the BBC, Sky News and ITV will cover the day with big-name presenters.

BBC 

The BBC's coverage will run from 9am until 2pm on Saturday. The broadcast will be anchored by Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and Dermot O'Leary from the grounds of Windsor Castle. Young and O'Leary will cover the build-up from the castle's moat, whilst newsreader Edwards presents from the equally spectacular roof of the Windsor Guard Room.

Profile | Julie Etchingham

They will be supported by a team of roaming presenters including The One Show's Alex Jones and former Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba, who will capture the excitement on the ground. 

The BBC has announced that a television licence will not be needed to watch the wedding, allowing communities to screen the event at street parties and gatherings.  

ITV

ITV's output will run from 9:25am until 3pm, presented by Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham, using a purpose-built studio in Windsor.

Other presenters include Mary Nightingale, Nina Hossain, Charlotte Hawkins and royal editor Chris Ship who will provide updates throughout the day.

Sky News

Sky's coverage will also start early, running from 9am until 3pm. Kay Burley, Anna Botting, Jayne Secker, Sarah-Jane Mee, Colin Brazier and Jonathan Samuels will present the live coverage from Windsor. 

Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, travel to Buckingham Palace, after their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, 2011 Credit: POOL/REUTERS

How to watch the Royal wedding on TV from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

As Harry and Meghan will enter the chapel at 12:00 B.S.T, North American viewers will have an early start if they want to catch the action live.   

The first footage will be available from CBS' This Morning, which airs at 4:00 E.S.T (1:00 PT). NBC takes its entire Today show to Windsor for their coverage beginning at 4:30 E.S.T (1:30 PT), and ABC News and Good Morning America will begin at 5:00 E.S.T (2.00 PT).

Meanwhile, BBC America will broadcast a live simulcast of the UK's BBC One from 4:15 E.S.T (1:15 PT), and HBO begins their live coverage at the more accommodating time of 7:15 E.S.T (4:30 PT). 

All of these American broadcasters are set to provide online and mobile coverage of the big day,  but ensure you are a paid subscriber to watch BBC America or HBO.

Another alternative is to find one of almost 200 cinema screenings across the US for a 10am (local time) screening of ITV's broadcast, only a few hours after the events unfold in Windsor. 

Credit:  Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Canadian's can turn to national broadcaster CBC from 4:00 E.S.T (1:00 PT) for live coverage, or opt to follow their live CBC News blog with updates from the goings-on at Windsor. Whist CBC's World Report radio programme will air from 6:00 E.S.T (3:00 PT) for a special royal wedding breakfast edition.

On the opposite side of the globe, New Zealanders can tune-in from 22:30 for TVNZ's simulcast of BBC One for the ceremony set to begin at 23:00 Wellington-time. The national broadcaster will also show a highlights package the next day, for anyone wanting an early night.     

Australian's have a choice of ABC, Seven, SBS, and Nine for Aussie-led coverage from Windsor, or a BBC One simulcast via Foxtel, all kicking-off between 19:00 and 19:30 AEST.

Windsor Castle from the air

Screenings: Where can I watch it in London?

Has your royal wedding invite been lost in the post? Never mind... there's various screenings taking place across the country, including in Belfast, Salisbury, Leeds, Swansea, Winchester and Portsmouth.

Here are the main events taking place in the capital.

Head down to ONE Marylebone church for its Royal Wedding Party. The all day event will feature live screenings from Windsor at 12 noon as well as various entertainment throughout the day, including live bands, corsage making and first dance classes. Make sure you get a ticket though - they're £25. 

Over in Chelsea, Bluebird on the King's Road is hosting a full day screening of the wedding, followed by a live DJ from 5pm. Everything from bunch, burgers and strawberries and cream will be available. Tickets are £25 and include a glass of bubbles. Cheers!

In Greenwich, a big screen will be set up on the lawn in front of the National Maritime Museum between 10am and 3pm. There will also be a big screen up in the shadow of the iconic Battersea Power Station. Both screenings are free - even better. 

Kensington Palace is also hosting a special outdoor screening of the wedding in the palace gardens in association with The Luna Cinema - what better place to follow all the action than in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's back garden.

However, the 1,000 tickets were only available via a ballot, which has now closed. If you're one of the lucky ones you'll be watching the historic event unfold on the Orangery lawn with a picnic and a glass of bubbles.

How many people will tune in?

You can expect the wedding to attract a large audience in the UK and abroad. About 27 million Brits and 23 million Americans watched the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

The BBC's coverage of William and Kate's wedding attracted 67.2 per cent of the television audience share that day, attracting 18.7 million viewers to BBC One during the ceremony. More than a million people used BBC iPlayer to watch the coverage.

In 2011, the BBC had faced intense criticism for choosing Huw Edwards to anchor the presenting team rather than more seasoned royal broadcasters such as David Dimbleby. They were also criticised for using Fearne Cotton to provide coverage from outside Buckingham Palace.

WATCH: How Diana, the in-laws and Prince Louis will fit into the Royal Wedding

The warm-up

As excitement builds before the wedding day, a host of broadcasters will deploy in-depth documentaries and extended Harry and Meghan coverage.

ITV have already aired a one-off feature entitled Invitation to a Royal Wedding. It looks-back at British royal weddings from the past and is produced by the team responsible for the Princess Diana documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.

The BBC unleashes its programming on the Friday night, with Edwards, Young and O'Leary featuring in The Royal Wedding: They're Getting Married In The Morning. 

A large handful of major American broadcasters have announced plans for royal wedding inspired programmes to be shown in the coming weeks.

What about the FA Cup final?

The FA Cup final falls on the same day as the royal wedding. The game between Chelsea and Manchester United will kick-off at 17:15 BST on BBC One, so football-loving royalists can have their cake and eat it. 

However the BBC's one-off TV licence dispensation does not apply to the FA Cup final, so find a screen somewhere near to your royal wedding celebrations.    

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, usually attends the final and presents the cup to the winning captain in his role as Football Association president. However, he will miss the event this year to fulfil his role as Prince Harry's best man.

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