New York – April 26, 2018 – BBC AMERICA announced today that it will air the Royal wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle, as a live and direct simulcast of BBC ONE’s coverage. The historic event airs with limited commercial breaks as the centerpiece of a week of celebratory programming that includes the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and the US television premiere of Harry and Meghan: A Very Modern Romance.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle will wed on Saturday May 19 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The service will be followed by a Carriage Procession from St George’s Chapel through Windsor Town returning to Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. BBC AMERICA will show the BBC’s main Royal wedding program of the marriage itself and the Carriage Procession, with live coverage before and after. The live broadcast will begin Saturday morning and an encore presentation of the wedding will air later in the day on May 19.
The one hour special, Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance (airdate TBC), investigates the social background that makes this adventurous marriage seem thoroughly in keeping with the modern British Royal Family. It explores the remarkable lives of actress Meghan Markle, a powerful women’s rights campaigner, and Prince Harry, looking into their shared interests and love story. Eighty-two years after a romance with a divorced commoner from America led to the abdication of a King, this royal marriage sets and confirms a revolutionised set of British values. An Odyssey Television Production, distributed by Kew Media Group.
Remarked BBC America President Sarah Barnett “When American Meghan Markle marries HRH Prince Harry it will be a truly global cultural moment, with enormous fanfare around the world. We are thrilled to be the true home of this Royal Wedding, a union that precisely mirrors our own heritage! The whole week leading up to the royal wedding will be a celebration you won’t want to miss.”
Additional Programming Highlights (airdates TBC):
- Born To Be King To mark the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child, Prince George, this documentary looks back at royal childhoods in previous generations with archive material of the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William. As George - the great grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II – becomes third in line to the throne, he will have to balance the customs of the past with the huge changes that he will see within his lifetime. If this prince lives as long as his great grandmother the Queen, he could be on the throne as Britain enters the 22nd century.
- Britain’s Royal Weddings goes behind the pomp and circumstance of royal weddings beginning with the Queen Mother in 1923 to present day. It shows how changing social attitudes and national circumstances have influenced what the public has come to expect from them.
- British Movietone Productions presents The Royal Wedding: Restored footage of the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
- Charles and Diana – The First Decade. This film tells the story of the world’s most famous royal couple through Charles as the doting suitor and Diana as the fairytale princess in her bridal gown. She became the mother of two children and the model for every fashionable young woman. But what role did Diana and the media play in creating that image and how did that relationship backfire when things started to go wrong.
· The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was made with the co-operation of Buckingham Palace and tells the behind the scenes story of the coronation of Elizabeth II drawing on never before seen archive footage. Following the death of her father King George VI in 1952, the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth immediately replaced him. But many months of planning were to follow before Elizabeth II’s formal coronation in 1953. The event was of huge cultural significance, seen as an opportune moment for the British royal family to establish the meaning of the modern monarchy – reinforcing the idea of continuity and tradition, while establishing the new reign of the young queen and her modernizing consort, the Duke of Edinburgh. Through the opening up of the diaries and papers of those at the heart of the event, it can be seen that senior figures, from Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Prince Philip’s uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, jockeyed for pivotal roles.
- Diana, 7 Days On 31 August 1997 the sudden and tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, catapulted the British public into one of the most extraordinary weeks in modern history. Among those interviewed – some sharing their thoughts for the first time – include Prince William and Prince Harry; her siblings, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer; former members of the Royal Household; former Prime Minister Tony Blair and two government officials intimately involved that week, Alistair Campbell and Anji Hunter. What was it about Diana that explained such an outpouring of grief? And how - if at all - has Britain changed in the aftermath?
- Diana – Legacy of a Princess In January 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, made a historic visit to Angola as part of the Red Cross campaign against anti-personnel landmines. She would later say that it had changed her life. One year later, the documentary returned to discover what happened to the children she met and the money she raised.
- Prince Harry: Frontline Afghanistan Price Harry is the first member of the British Royal Family to see active combat since his uncle, the Duke of York, fought in the Falklands War. Captain Wales, as he is known in the military, arrived for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in September 2012, returning four months later in January 2013. During the tour, the Ministry of Defence agreed access to Prince Harry as he went about his work as an attack helicopter co-pilot with footage of him at work at Camp Bastion. He also addresses his relationship with the media and the Las Vegas trip that caused tabloid headlines in 2012.
- Prince William and Prince Harry – Into the Future explores the world of the young royals and their elite circle of friends, who jostle for column inches in the celebrity press along with pop idols, fashion icons and film stars. Life in the celebrity fast lane has somehow modernized the British Royal Family and by being seen in night clubs as well as the army, they are visibly living a similar life to that of their future subjects. Curiously, they may have disarmed much of the republican sentiment that seemed to be growing at the time of Princess Diana’s death.
- Royal Wedding 2011: HRH Prince William & Catherine Middleton - With the 2011 Royal Wedding reception in full-swing Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth report from the scene of the festivities, Buckingham Palace. On a day of worldwide celebration, we look back on the most memorable sights and sounds of a historic event and are joined in the studio by some of the people who have played a part in the big day.
· William, Kate and George: A New Royal Family follows their first year together as a family including their first official royal tour to Australia and New Zealand and Kate’s first solo official duties since becoming a fully-fledged royal. Destined to become King and Queen of England, the film also reveals the Queen’s delight at William’s choice of wife and how she took her under her wing to prepare her for public life.
· You Had To Be There – Lady Diana Spencer was married to HRH The Prince of Wales at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981. Up to one million people lined the wedding route and this is their story.
BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the critically acclaimed series Killing Eve from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the Emmy® and IDA-winning Planet Earth II, the acclaimed Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, and the forthcoming next chapter in the epic story of our planet, Dynasty (w/t), the top-rated science-fiction phenomenon Doctor Who, the ground-breaking unscripted series Top Gear, the buzzy and hilarious The Graham Norton Show, as well as Premier League Darts. A joint venture between BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC) and AMC Networks, BBCA’s influential shows such as Orphan Black and Luther, among many others, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes®. Created in 1998, the irrepressible network has garnered one of cable’s most curious, educated and affluent audiences, with many properties boasting super-fan levels of engagement. Get caught up, BBCA offers full episodes On Demand across all major digital platforms, BBC AMERICA app and bbcamerica.com. Find out more by visiting press.bbcamerica.com and follow @BBC America Subscribers