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.
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.”
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