Ah, love in the time of royalty. Princes wooing and marrying “lowly” ladies is pretty much the stuff of fairytales, so it makes perfect sense for TV execs to want to jump on the horse and carriage and make specials about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s romance. Ahead of the May nuptials, here’s a calendar of televised events you won’t want to miss if you’re a fan of chiffon on a royal scale.
Lifetime’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance
It wouldn’t be a royal wedding without the Lifetime treatment! Following the success of 2011’s William & Kate: The Movie, the cable network is ready to debut the younger prince’s feature film. Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance will trace the young couple’s love affair from humble beginnings (hers, not his) when she was just a working actress to their November engagement, going inside their courtship since they were set up by a mutual friend. Relatively-unknown Scottish actor Murray Fraser will play the red-headed prince (and does an uncannily good take on Harry’s voice) and Midnight, Texas‘ Parisa Fitz-Henley will play Markle, while Australian actress Burgess Abernethy (H20: Just Add Water) and Laura Mitchell (Menendez: Blood Brothers) will portray their in-laws-to-be, Prince William and Duchess Kate. The illustrious event is set to take place in spring, sometime before the big day.
Meghan Markle: American Princess
CBS News’ special sees Gayle King anchor the story of Markle’s story from grade school to palace with help from those who know her best on April 20 at 10 p.m. ET. The special features from CBS News royal contributor Tina Brown and other royal experts who give insight on the upcoming marriage and what it means for the British monarchy and the world. There’s even an exclusive interview from Alexi Lubormirski, the photographer who shot the couple engagement pics and will also be their official wedding photographer. “They’re just a young couple in love,” he says.
Markle’s last episode of Suits
This will most likely be the last time you’ll see Markle on-screen in a non-official capacity, visiting sick kids or opening a museum on behalf of the royal family, so you’d better tune in. Markle’s stint on USA network’s hit legal drama is coming to an end with the second half of season 7 dropping April 25. Markle is set to wed on the show too, as her character Rachel and BF Mike (Patrick J. Adams) head down the aisle. Oh, and we have a photo of that moment (see more here).
ITV’s Invitation to a Royal Wedding
The British network cordially invites you to the big day… well, kinda. It’s a British network — so this may not be available Stateside. Still, the documentary will dive headfirst into taffeta, traditions and everything else it takes to plan a royal wedding extravaganza at Windsor Castle. The series includes interviews with those accustomed to planning events on such a grand scale. Sounds divine. Hope we can watch it.
Fox’s Meghan Markle: An American Princess
The story of the bride-to-be comes at you on May 11, just a week before the official “I dos,” in the form of a two-hour special from Fox — in case you need a to cram in some Markle facts before the big day! The documentary will feature behind-the-scenes action, archival footage and apparently inside scoop from people who know her best, so get ready to hear from her third-grade teacher and her one-time hairdresser. Kidding! The special has actually rounded up Markle’s half-sister, Samantha, journalist Piers Morgan (of course), Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell; and Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth II’s former press secretary to spill on Markle.
Smithsonian’s Million Dollar American Princesses: Meghan Markle
This one looks at the upcoming nuptials through a historic lens to highlight the American-marrying-into-European nobility angle — comparing Markle to Consuelo Vanderbilt, Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly. The special premieres Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET and chronicles Markle’s life from her Californian childhood to her career in television and then meeting Prince Harry. There’s also some rare footage of Markle as an 11 year old already speaking up for feminism and promoting gender equality in her work with United Nations as an adult.
Entertainment Tonight’s build-up broadcast
Entertainment Tonight will also broadcast from London and Windsor the entire week of May 14 leading up to the wedding and a full recap of the Royal Wedding from Windsor Castle will air on ET Monday, May 21, dishing on all the fashion, the guest list and the standout moments from the ceremony.
Inside the Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan
NBC will also be air a nice little prelude to the wedding on May 16 at 10 p.m. ET with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb doing a primetime special: Inside the Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan.
A 20/20 primetime special on Friday 18 at 10:00p.m. ET takes a look at the two most important women in Prince Harry’s life: his mother, Princess Diana, and his soon-to-be bride, Meghan Markle. On Saturday19 at 10:00 p.m. ET a second special will recap the day’s most memorable moments.
The Royal Wedding itself
Um, it’s the main event so set your DVRs now. The pair will tie the knot on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel, inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Lucky for all of us, the wedding-we-all-wish-we-could-attend will be televised on various networks, with proceedings kicking off at 7 a.m. ET — though some coverage begins even earlier…
CBS News’ multi-platform coverage will being at 4 a.m. ET on May 19 with This Morning co-host Gayle King and Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier anchoring. CBS News royal contributor Tina Brown will also be there to share some insight.
Not to be outdone, NBC will broadcast all four hours of the TODAY show from London. Beginning at 4 a.m. ET, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Megyn Kelly, and Kathie Lee Gifford will all do their respective hours from an exclusive location overlooking Windsor Castle. Al Roker and Sheinelle Jones will also be there.
Annnnd, over on ABC there’ll be a five-hour special edition of Good Morning America anchored by Robin Roberts and David Muir starting at 5 a.m. ET live from Windsor.
The hour-long ceremony will be followed by a carriage procession as the now-married duo makes its way back to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk with 2,640 people being invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch. Guests (maybe including the Spice Girls!) will then gather at St. George’s Hall for the reception, minus television cameras, though — boo! Look up those scone recipes now, the big day will be upon us before we know it.
PEOPLE’s The Story of the Royals
If you don’t wanna feel alone in your royal obsession, PEOPLE and ABC are here to help with a two-night television event airing in August that showcases the key figures in the line of succession — Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George — and also leans into the excitement of the May wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the birth of William and Kate’s third child in April. “PEOPLE is known for its extensive coverage of the royal family by reporters who are experts in the subject matter,” said Jess Cagle, PEOPLE’s editor in chief and EW’s editorial director. “Our audience can’t get enough of the royals; they continue to attract interest with each new generation.” Clearly!