The countdown for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming nuptials, due to take place on 19 May 2018 at Windsor Castle, has officially begun, and as wedding fever grips the nation, several TV channels are marking the event with royally themed shows and documentaries.
The Queen’s inspired pairing with David Attenborough in The Queen’s Green Planet already stole the country’s hearts, and now we can expect for more royal fun, from a romp through the history of royal brides with David Starkey and Jeremy Paxman, to a behind-the-scenes look at the details of planning a royal wedding.
Read on for the ultimate guide to the best royal TV specials.
Julie Etchingham and Sir Trevor McDonald on the long walk at Windsor Castle (ITV/FC)
ITV are offering viewers a glimpse into the extensive behind-the-scenes planning that goes into a royal wedding.
The documentary, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham, will feature interviews with people who’ve worked on previous royal weddings, including Paul Courtney, who baked William and Kate’s chocolate biscuit cake, and Elizabeth Emanuel and husband David, who designed Princess Diana’s infamously creased taffeta dress.
“I was horrified,” Emmanuel says of the moment the Princess emerged from her carriage.
Invitation to a Royal Wedding will air on Sunday April 29 on ITV at 9pm
The Windsors Wedding Special
Channel 4’s hilarious royal satire The Windsors will return for a one-off special in May to celebrate the royal wedding. The episode will see Prince Harry (Richard Goulding) preparing for his marriage to Meghan (Kathryn Drysdale) and, more importantly, the ultimate stag-do. Prince Charles (Harry Enfield) also heads to America to meet Meghan’s “down-to-earth all-American mum” Doria, while Princess Beatrice (Ellie White) searches for a plus-one for the wedding.
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 commented: “I am thrilled to have The Windsors back on Channel 4 for a royal wedding special and can’t wait to see what Meghan’s dress looks like, if Fergie is invited and most importantly what fascinators Beatrice and Eugenie will be wearing!”
The Windsors Wedding Special will air on Tuesday 15th May at 9pm on Channel 4
The Royal Wives of Windsor
Historian David Starkey (ITV/FC)
Can Meghan Markle learn from history’s royal brides?
ITV’s new two-part special The Royal Wives of Windsor takes a look at Britain’s royal history, combining rare archival footage with commentary from a host of historians and journalists, including David Starkey, Jeremy Paxman, Rachel Johnson and Gyles Brandreth on the challenges of being a royal bride.
The series also provides insight from royal insiders, including butlers, bodyguards and press secretaries, in addition to notable biographers Andrew Morton, Kate Williams and Piers Brendon.
The Royal Wives of Windsor will air on Monday 30th April and Tuesday 1st May at 9pm on ITV
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (YouTube, FT)
US network Lifetime’s new television movie about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s romance is as gloriously cheesy as one would expect.
The film, following Lifetime’s William & Kate – The Movie, stars Parisa Fitz-Henley (Jessica Jones, Daredevil), as Meghan, while Murray Fraser (Victoria, The Loch) will star as Harry.
The first trailer has been released, featuring some rather uninspired dialogue (“Tell me something real,” Meghan whispers), a candlelit roast chicken dinner engagement, and plenty of snogging in bed.
Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance is expected to air on Channel 5 in May
Prince Harry’s Story: Four Royal Weddings
The show examines the life of Prince Harry, ranging from his childhood to his career in Afghanistan and charity work with veterans, through the prism of five major events: four royal weddings (his own, his brother William’s, and Princes Charles’ two marriages) and the tragic death and funeral of his mother, Princess Diana.
Prince Harry’s Story: Four Royal Weddings will air on Thursday 3rd May on ITV at 9pm