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How to watch the royal wedding

Once upon a time, a British royal wedding was the sort of rarefied event that only a handful of people could ever boast the privilege of watching. These days it’s a bit easier fortunately, and you’ll be able to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming nuptials live from just about anywhere in the world. Best of all, you won’t have to pay a penny, as the ceremony (and extensive pre-coverage) will be aired on TV channels worldwide, making it dead easy to watch for yourself.

When is the royal wedding?

Harry and Meghan will marry this weekend, on Saturday 19 May, with the ceremony itself beginning at 12pm GMT sharp (7am EST/4am PST) at St.

George’s Chapel in Windsor. The service will end around an hour later when Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken their vows – officiated by Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury.

Coverage will begin a lot earlier than noon though, with most channels running several hours of content to build up to the main event.

How to watch on UK TV

If you’re in the UK, it couldn’t be much easier to follow along. The BBC, ITV, and Sky will all be airing live coverage for the occasion, all starting early on Saturday morning.

The BBC’s coverage will be led by Huw Edwards, with support from Kirsty Young and Dermot O’Leary, with Ore Oduba and Alex Jones providing further coverage from within the crowd of supporters and well-wishers. ITV has erected its own dedicated studio in Windsor, where Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham will cover proceedings, with coverage running from 9:25am right through to 3:00pm.

Finally, Sky News will have its own broadcasters and reporters on the ground too. If you don’t want to watch it on your own, you have a couple of options.

First, there will be large public screens erected in a number of major cities around the country, including Leeds, Portsmouth, Belfast, Swansea, Salisbury and Winchester. If you want to stage your own event, the BBC is waiving the television licence requirement for the broadcast, meaning anyone can set up a street party or local gathering.

How to watch on US TV

You might think that people in the US would have a more difficult time watching the royal wedding live, but in fact it’s pretty similar – well, except for the time zone – and you won’t even need a VPN to do it. Anyone will to brave the early morning (or late night) can tune into the 7am EST/4am PST ceremony on their choice of CBS, NBC, or ABC, with further coverage coming from PBS, BBC America, Fox News, and HBO.

CBS starts its coverage first, at 4am EST, with NBC following at 4:30am, and ABC and Fox kicking off at 5am.

Perhaps most interesting though is HBO, which will air The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish! featuring Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon in character as “broadcast legends” Cord and Tish. That kicks off at 7:30am EST, so you can watch the first half hour or so of the real ceremony before you switch to the silly stuff if you prefer. You can even watch the wedding in the cinema if you want, with around 200 screenings of the service in theatres around the country at 10am – so just a few hours after it all actually takes place in Windsor.

How to watch online

If you’d rather stream the ceremony, there are plenty of ways to, no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on.

In the UK, both the BBC and ITV will make their coverage available live online through iPlayer and ITV Hub.

In the US, head to CBSN Live, ABCNews.com, GoodMorningAmerica.com, or BBC America to watch the whole event live online.

How to listen

If you care more about the choral music than the fancy outfits, you can always just listen to the service.

There’ll be radio coverage of course – on BBC Radio 1 in the UK – but Decca Records is also recording the whole show to produce a soundtrack album which will be available on Spotify and Apple Music just hours after the ceremony and on vinyl (!) from 25 May.

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