Come Saturday, Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle. It sounds almost musical, and for Americans, this tune is our jam.
Local pubs are having watch parties, movie theaters are having special showings and there will be wall-to-wall coverage on cable and broadcast stations starting at 3 and 4 a.m. for those of us setting our alarms and raising a teacup to toast the couple.
Viewership is expected to top the almost 23 million American viewers who tuned into Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. Around the world, 3 billion are expected to tune in to Harry and Meghan’s, thanks to smart phones and social media making the wedding more accessible.
Saturday’s nuptials start at noon London time. That means we’ll need to be tuned in by 7 a.m. here in Florida, earlier if you want to ogle the gorgeous getups and fancy hats.
That’s an hour later than the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, which was held on a Wednesday, making many a groggy worker and students that hump day. The Saturday wedding is a break from the royal tradition of holding a morning ceremony on a weekday and declaring a national holiday to give workers the day off.
As you prepare to pin a fascinator on your head, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the royal wedding.
Tegan Foster, the co-owner of St. Petersburg’s Hawthorne Bottle Shop, said patio seating for the lounge’s royal wedding watch party has already sold out, but barstools and tables inside are still available.
"People are really excited about this," said Foster, whose mother is British. "I’ve got a really nice dress and we all have fabulous hats."
The doors open at 6 a.m. It’s $25, but a $100 VIP table for four gets you two bottles of champagne and platter of British breakfast foods. Reservations required. 2921 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 800-2810.
At Jacks London Grill in St. Petersburg, the call is to "come dressed in your pajamas, or dressed to attend a wedding." There will be a variety of English breakfast foods for sale and a wedding champagne peach mimosa ($4.99). Doors open at 6:30 a.m. 1050 62nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 289-7170.
The Pub at International Plaza will have a Royal Brunch starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, offering $3.25 Old Speckled Hen, drink specials and giveaways. 2223 N West Shore Blvd. Tampa. (813) 443-5642.
In Seminole Heights, London Heights British Pub will open at 6:30 a.m. offering bottomless mimosas, coffee, tea and pastries. 7701 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. (813) 231-7200.
The Chattaway in St. Petersburg will open at 7 a.m. and provide seven TV screens for watching the wedding. A traditional English breakfast will be served with eggs, bangers, beans, crumpets, marmalade, bacon, potatoes, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and tea for $13.99. 358 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-1594.
Or, sleep in and catch a 10 a.m. screening of Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding, a commercial-free presentation of the royal wedding that will screen in nearly 200 theaters across the U.S. Reserve your tickets at fathomevents.com for screenings at Park Place 16 in Pinellas Park and Citrus Park 20 in Tampa.
For those watching at home, the choices are immense.
• Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon will cover the wedding live for HBO. They will revive their characters, health and fitness expert Cord Hosenbeck (Ferrell) and L.A. Law alum Tish Cattigan (Shannon). The special, produced by Funny or Die, will air live on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. and repeat at 9:45 p.m.
• PBS coverage begins at 4:15 a.m. when public television stations will carry the BBC’s live coverage led by BBC veteran Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and Dermot O’Leary. Based at the moat outside Windsor Castle and on the roof of the Guard Room within the walls of Windsor Castle, the BBC is at the very heart of proceedings with views of the castle and the gathering crowds.
• ABC begins a five-hour live edition of Good Morning America at 5 a.m. hosted by Robin Roberts and World News Tonight anchor David Muir.
• CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King and Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier start live coverage at 4 a.m. on CBS. Also shown live on 24/7 streaming news network CBSN.
• NBC will air a special six-hour edition of Today starting at 4:30 a.m. from Windsor anchored by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. It will be live streamed on TODAY.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
• A special Fox & Friends episode with Ainsley Earhardt begins at 5 a.m., and then Fox news anchor Shepard Smith and America’s Newsroom’s Sandra Smith will anchor coverage from outside St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle beginning at 6 a.m.
• BBC America will have a live direct simulcast and streaming of coverage by the BBC in the U.K. with commentary by BBC experts and limited commercial interruption.
• E! News coverage starts at 5 a.m. with Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski hosting a five-hour show from Windsor. There will be a one-hour recap at 7 p.m.
The wedding day schedule
With a five-hour time difference, here’s what to expect in Eastern Standard Time.
4.30 a.m. to 6 a.m.: Wedding guests are expected to arrive at Windsor Castle. While more than 2,600 members of the public have been invited to watch the arrivals of Harry and Meghan at Windsor Castle, only around 600 guests have been asked to attend the actual ceremony at St. George’s Chapel. They are expected from 9.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. London time for the noon wedding. They will be driven to the Round Tower by coach before walking to the south door of St. George’s Chapel.
6:20 a.m.: The royal family will head for the chapel via the Galilee Porch. Some are expected to arrive by foot, while others will travel by car. Prince Harry and William will go to the chapel together on foot and will enter the West Steps, where they will greet 200 charity representatives.
7 a.m.: The couple will exchange vows in a ceremony expect to last an hour.
8 a.m.: After the ceremony has ended, the newlyweds will greet the 200 representatives of Prince Harry’s charities outside the chapel.
8:30 a.m.: They will leave Windsor Castle in a carriage for a roughly two-mile procession, traveling along the High Street through the town of Windsor, before returning to the castle by the Long Walk, according to the palace. The procession is expected to take around 25 minutes.
9 a.m.: After the procession, the couple and guests will attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth at St. George’s Hall in the castle grounds, bringing the public aspects of the day to a close.