How to watch the royal wed­ding – from the com­fort of your couch

The wait is al­most over. Here Katie Byrne sug­gests a few ways to en­joy the big day from the com­fort of your couch

Irish Independent - - News -

At 11.59am to­mor­row, Meghan Markle will ar­rive at the west steps of St Ge­orge’s Chapel and give the world the first glimpse of her bridal gown.

The much-an­tic­i­pated cer­e­mony kicks off at 12pm sharp and there’ll be plenty of peo­ple — royal-watch­ers and star-gaz­ers alike — get­ting up at the crack of dawn to watch the pro­ceed­ings un­fold.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nup­tials will be more low-key than Prince Wil­liam and Kate Middleton’s. The Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s wed­ding was held in West­min­ster Abbey and deemed wor­thy of an of­fi­cial Bri­tish bank hol­i­day.

There’ll be con­sid­er­ably less pomp and cer­e­mony dur­ing Harry and Meghan’s big day, but make no mis­take, there will be no less in­ter­est.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent poll by Amarách Re­search for RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live, just over a third of Ir­ish peo­ple said they’ll be pay­ing at­ten­tion to the Royal wed­ding, while 57pc said that they would not. How the par­tic­i­pants of this par­tic­u­lar poll de­fine ‘pay­ing at­ten­tion’ is an­other ques­tion en­tirely. Granted, Ir­ish peo­ple won’t be hang­ing bunting or stand­ing, hand over heart, for ‘God Save The Queen’. They will, how­ever, be pay­ing at­ten­tion to this wed­ding on some level.

While some will unashamedly lap up ev­ery last de­tail, many more will watch the wed­ding in the spirit of per­func­tory duty or guilty plea­sure. Like it or not, there’s a silent ma­jor­ity who don’t want to confess their in­ter­est in the Bri­tish monar­chy, or their bet­terthan-av­er­age knowl­edge of its com­pli­cated lin­eage.

Royal wed­dings are a lit­tle like Euro­vi­sion in this re­gard. No­body ad­mits to en­joy­ing the high camp flight of fancy but come the mo­ment, they can’t get enough of it.

When we hear the terms ‘roy­al­ist’ or ‘royal-watcher’, we tend to think of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion of Bri­tons who buy Union Jack waist­coats and com­mem­o­ra­tive tea clothes, and who camp out­side the lido with flasks of tea.

We don’t think of the hun­dreds of Ir­ish peo­ple who left flow­ers at the Bri­tish Em­bassy when Princess Diana died, the vast num­bers who tune into the Queen’s Christ­mas Day speech or the lav­ish­ness of the green car­pet wel­come that we ex­tended to her majesty in 2011.

Royal wed­dings are cap­ti­vat­ing, and even the most com­mit­ted an­ti­monar­chists will find it dif­fi­cult to dis­en­gage from the soap opera around this lat­est one.

Meghan’s fa­ther has been caught stag­ing pa­parazzi pho­to­graphs while her half-brother has been kept busy send­ing poi­son pen let­ters. It’s like a stunt Dana White might or­ches­trate to boost PPV num­bers, or a scene a Suits writer might pen for a se­ries fi­nale.

While some of us will tune in to­mor­row for the royal ro­mance and the Gok Wan fash­ion commentary, many more will tune in for the fam­ily drama and the de­noue­ment of a TMZ celebrity gos­sip roller­coaster.

This is Prince Harry, af­ter all: the royal who dressed up as a Nazi for a fancy dress party; the royal who was pho­tographed naked dur­ing a stag do in Las Ve­gas. He’s the royal that even an­tiroy­al­ists like, so his wed­ding will prob­a­bly at­tract more at­ten­tion than his older brother’s nup­tials in 2011.

There’ll be street par­ties and pic­nics galore in Bri­tain to­mor­row. The cel­e­bra­tions will be rather more sub­dued in Ire­land, although there are

a few spe­cially or­gan­ised af­ter­noon teas tak­ing place in ho­tels like The House in Gal­way and Dun­boyne Cas­tle in Meath. West Brits might even wear a cock­tail hat and gloves for the oc­ca­sion, but there’s al­ways the risk of run­ning into some­one from work...

Closet royal-watch­ers will be con­duct­ing their se­cret love af­fair with the Bri­tish Royal Fam­ily from the safety of their sit­ting rooms. They might up the ante with Pimms cock­tails, cel­e­bra­tory bub­bles and cu­cum­ber sand­wiches (crusts off, ple­beians). As for the in­cred­u­lous ‘800 years of op­pres­sion!’ fam­ily mem­ber who keeps in­ter­rupt­ing Philip Schofield’s commentary? Just re­mind him that he’ll be parked in front of the TV for the FA Cup Fi­nal later in the day...

It wouldn’t be a royal wed­ding party with­out some party games. You could play royal wed­ding bingo: down a drink ev­ery time the com­men­ta­tor com­pares Meghan’s dress to her sis­ter-in-law’s, or de­scribes the bride as ‘stun­ning’. Oth­er­wise, there are plenty of bet­ting op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep you in­ter­ested. Don­ald Trump is cur­rently 500/1 with Paddy Power to walk

Meghan down the aisle. You could also get your hands on the de­li­ciously cringey Harry & Meghan: A Royal Ro­mance.

The movie takes artis­tic li­cence with its por­trayal of Harry (Mur­ray Fraser) and Meghan’s (Parisa FitzHen­ley) re­la­tion­ship as the Meghan char­ac­ter se­duces the prince with the line: “I’ve al­ways had a thing for red­heads.”

Oth­er­wise, just stay in your py­ja­mas, en­sconce your­self on the couch and look out for these key mo­ments...

The A-list

Wil­liam and Kate’s guests in­cluded the Beck­hams, Guy Ritchie and, er, Joss Stone. The A-list guest list pro­vided some much-needed raz­zledaz­zle, but it was hardly Met Ball stuff. Harry and Meghan, on the other hand, will bring out the big guns with an in­vite list that is said to in­clude the Clooneys, the Spice Girls (all five of them) and Dave Grohl (left )of the Foo Fighters.

The royal wave

The royal wave is a sub­tle art that Meghan has, so far, failed to mas­ter. She ei­ther looks like a beauty pageant con­tes­tant or a vis­it­ing guru when she raises her arm. She’ll have had plenty of prac­tice be­fore her big reveal to­mor­row, and we’ll be look­ing for­ward to see­ing what kind of wave she extends to her fans.

Beatrice & Eu­ge­nie

It wouldn’t be a royal wed­ding with­out an ap­pear­ance from Beatrice and Eu­ge­nie, the Royal Fam­ily’s very own Patsy and Ed­die. The sisters are known for their ab­so­lutely fabulous fash­ion choices and we can’t wait to see their lat­est in­ter­pre­ta­tion of ap­pro­pri­ate head­wear.

The sur­prise per­for­mance

Wil­liam and Kate sur­prised their guests with a per­for­mance by the re­as­sur­ingly vanilla El­lie Gould­ing. Harry and Meghan know we ex­pect much more from them. Stor­mzy would be a touch too much but Ed Sheeran is prob­a­bly hid­ing in a wardrobe at Wind­sor Cas­tle right now, ready to jump out and shout ‘Boo!’.

The ex-fac­tor

Meghan’s ex-hus­band hasn’t been in­vited to the wed­ding

but it is ru­moured that two of Harry’s exes, Cres­sida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, have made the cut. We know where we’ll be look­ing when Harry says ‘I do’.

The African in­flu­ence

You only have to look at Prince Harry’s trade­mark beaded bracelets to know he has a grá for all things Africa. Cou­ple this with the fact that he fell in love with Meghan un­der the stars in Botswana and it’s safe to con­clude that there’ll be some sort of African theme to the pro­ceed­ings. Lady­smith Black Mam­bazo are play­ing in Suf­folk tonight. Just say­ing...

Beer we go: How Mon­ica, Rachel and Phoebe from Friends might have watched the wed­ding of Harry and Meghan (be­low)

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