Royal wed­ding round-up. All you need to know about the big day.

It’s the day many peo­ple around the world have been wait­ing for, and help­ing to bring the wed­ding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to TV is Kiwi Lucy Hock­ings (be­low). Kerry Har­vey re­ports.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

When Prince Harry weds ac­tress Meghan Markle (above) at Wind­sor Cas­tle on May 19, mil­lions of peo­ple world­wide will tune in to watch – and Kiwi Lucy Hock­ings will be there to make sure we don’t miss a thing.

The BBC World jour­nal­ist ex­pects more than 434 mil­lion house­holds in­ter­na­tion­ally to watch the chan­nel’s cov­er­age of the wed­ding of the year, if not the decade. Cov­er­age screens on TVNZ 1 as well as Sky’s UKTV and BBC World News.

“The in­ter­est we’ve had at the BBC so far has been phe­nom­e­nal,” says Hock­ings, who also cov­ered Prince Wil­liam’s 2011 wed­ding to the then Kate Mid­dle­ton. “When we ran the first ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the two of them it went crazy.

“It was the most-watched story of the day, the most-read story on the web­site, Face­book views were in the mil­lions, all that sort of thing.”

Royal wed­dings are al­ways pop­u­lar but in­ter­est in Harry and Meghan’s big day is even greater than usual given the bride is not just an Amer­i­can but fa­mous in her own right as one of the stars of the hit se­ries Suits.

“It is go­ing to be so big in Amer­ica – they call the Duchess of Cam­bridge Princess Kate over there – so when they get their very own princess in Meghan Markle, it takes it to a whole other level,” Hock­ings says.

“Also, the Cana­di­ans love it too be­cause she spent so much time

film­ing Suits in Toronto and a lot of time liv­ing there, that I think they have a sense of own­er­ship over her a lit­tle bit as well.

“They would, as mem­bers of the Com­mon­wealth, al­ways love a royal wed­ding but I think they like this one even more.”

The se­crecy about the guest list – and even the wed­ding party – has also helped ramp up the ex­cite­ment.

“She’s come into con­tact with a lot of in­ter­est­ing and fa­mous peo­ple of her time and so has he,” Hock­ings says. “He’s a very pop­u­lar prince so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see who shows up.”

The cou­ple will ex­change vows at 11pm (NZST) on Satur­day at St Ge­orge’s Chapel, Wind­sor Cas­tle.

How­ever, Hock­ings and her team will be in place two days be­fore the big event, keep­ing au­di­ences around the world up-to-date with what is happening in the build-up.

“I cant wait,” says Hock­ings, who will be pro­vid­ing cov­er­age from both in­side Wind­sor Cas­tle and out­side where many thou­sands will watch the cer­e­mony on big screens.

“We are go­ing to be tightly pro­tected on the day and the days around it as well. I have to stay overnight in Wind­sor for two nights and once we’re in our lo­ca­tion, from what we’ve been told, we won’t be able to move around much be­cause of se­cu­rity. It’s go­ing to be in­tense, I think, on the day.”

As a re­porter, Hock­ings – who started her ca­reer at TVNZ – has cov­ered the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the 2004 Box­ing Day tsunami, the death of Pope John Paul II, the 2005 Lon­don bomb­ings, the cap­ture of Sad­dam Hus­sein and she was in the US for Pres­i­dent Trump’s elec­tion.

“I’ll never for­get be­ing in Wash­ing­ton and watch­ing the re­sults and re­port­ing on the re­sults com­ing in and him win­ning the elec­tion. That was un­be­liev­able,” she says. “But there’s some­thing about this – it’s re­ally nice to be do­ing some­thing joy­ful.

“Of course, there’ll be peo­ple who aren’t in­ter­ested and don’t care but there is so much in­ter­est. Peo­ple need and want a good news story and some­thing lovely and some­thing to talk about. A clas­sic love story ticks all those boxes.”

Hock­ings says Prince Harry is in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar but his fi­ancee also has a huge fol­low­ing.

“Ev­ery­one has wanted to see him set­tle down for quite some time and he’s picked this re­ally in­ter­est­ing, charis­matic woman to be his wife.

“Peo­ple are in­tensely cu­ri­ous about her and how she is go­ing to fit into the royal fam­ily ...

“So there’s so much to talk about. It’s not just the usual wed­ding thing. There’s all these other is­sues around it too which cre­ates a lot of in­ter­est as well as the vis­ual spec­ta­cle of the wed­ding.”

From Meghan and Harry: The First 100 Days

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