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ITV announces live Royal Wedding coverage plans

ITV today announced that Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield will present ITV’s live, comprehensive coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday 19th May from a specially constructed studio in Windsor, and that the network will also broadcast a series of programmes leading up to the day itself.

The programmes in the run up include Invitation to a Royal Wedding (1×60, April 29th at 9pm, an Oxford Films Production for ITV) a documentary counting down to the wedding of the year, by going behind the scenes of some of Britain’s most iconic royal weddings in recent memory. Presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and Julie Etchingham the documentary meets the many people at the heart of making such momentous occasions work and discovers exactly what goes into orchestrating events attended by hundreds and watched by millions. Invitation to a Royal Wedding explores the key ingredients of a royal wedding and offers privileged insights into what goes into their planning. Royal weddings have always been moments of worldwide attention and the marriage of the sixth in line to the throne to an American TV star is set to be another major global event. The programme also includes first-hand accounts of the unbelievable lengths taken to keep arrangements secret in the build up to big days like this. Plus Sir Trevor McDonald gets access to St George’s Chapel to find out the special significance of Harry and Meghan’s chosen wedding venue.

Further primetime specials will mark Prince Harry’s upcoming wedding, Royal Wives of Windsor (2×60, April 30th and May 1st at 9pm) and Prince Harry’s Story: Four Royal Weddings (1×60, May 3rd at 9pm), both Spun Gold productions for ITV.

Royal Wives of Windsor is a documentary series exploring how some of the women who wed into the house of Windsor over the last century have transformed the most famous dynasty in the world. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (The Queen Mother), Wallis Simpson, Lady Diana Spencer, Sarah Ferguson, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Sophie Rhys Jones and Catherine Middleton have all faced judgement by the British public. Their weddings, scandals, sense of duty and tragedy have helped shape the nation’s history. The Windsor’s latest bride, Meghan Markle, is already proving transformational. In this blue-chip series, historians David Starkey, Kate Williams and Piers Brendon, writers and broadcasters Jeremy Paxman and Afua Hirsch, biographer Andrew Morton alongside royal insiders provide a definitive review of British social history as reflected through the lives of the royal wives of Windsor.

Prince Harry’s Story: Four Royal Weddings… charts Harry’s journey from a childhood touched by grief, through active service as a soldier in Afghanistan and his later international charity work, to his upcoming wedding to the girl of his dreams, through the prism of the most important turning points in his life – four Royal Weddings and the tragic death and funeral of his mother. This is Harry’s story told in a new and unique way, featuring stunning royal footage, dramatic newsreel and insightful and entertaining commentary from royal sources, historians, journalists and figures from throughout his life and career.

Harry and Meghan – The Royal Wedding

On the day itself, Saturday May 19th, ITV will broadcast live, comprehensive coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, presented by ITV News at Ten’s Julie Etchingham and ITV’s Phillip Schofield, anchored live from a specially constructed studio on The Long Walk in Windsor. Harry and Meghan – The Royal Wedding will be on air from 9.25am until 3pm, with Julie and Phillip joined by a range of guests including those who know Prince Harry and Meghan, as well as friends of the Royal family.

Joining Julie and Phillip for live coverage of the day will be a range of ITV’s news presenters and reporters. Mary Nightingale will be positioned at Windsor Castle spotting and interviewing guests as they arrive, accompanied by a line-up of fashion experts and Royal commentators.

Rageh Omaar will exclusively join Sentebale, the charity co-founded by Prince Harry, for traditional wedding day celebrations in Lesotho. Rageh will be live from the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre where he will be joined by beneficiaries and staff many of whom have met and been supported by Prince Harry during his numerous visits to the country.

James Mates will lead live commentary of the service from inside St George’s Chapel.

ITV News’s Royal Editor Chris Ship will provide his expertise throughout the day, while Nina Hossain, Charlotte Hawkins and Charlene White will be based at key positions in Windsor and with crowds celebrating along the procession route.

In addition to the live rolling coverage, ITV will broadcast an extended late news bulletin, and a special hour-long Royal Wedding highlights show on ITV3 and comprehensive coverage on itv.com/news.

Julie Etchingham said: “I’m delighted to be working on the Royal Wedding – and teaming up again with Philip, just as we did in 2011 and for the Diamond Jubilee. It’ll be a day of big celebrations not only in Windsor but around the country – and it’ll be huge fun capturing the spirit of a great British occasion.”

Phillip Schofield said: “So happy to be back with Julie, my Royal Wedding partner (we don’t get to work together very often!) and the brilliant team at ITV News. Put your hat on, we’re going to have a party!”

Catherine Ferrier, CEO, Sentebale, said: “Sentebale have enjoyed working with ITV on a number of occasions since the charity was established in 2006, most recently for the documentary ‘Prince Harry in Africa’ in 2016. We are therefore delighted to have this opportunity to partner once more to mark the very special occasion of Sentebale’s Co-Founding Patron, Prince Harry, to Ms Meghan Markle.”

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