The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is getting ever closer and so to help you prepare for the big day, The Crown Chronicles presents the definitive guide to helping you make the most of the celebrations. Whether you plan to travel to Windsor itself, to watch the procession and soak up the jubilant atmosphere, or are going to watch from the comfort of your own sofa, here is everything you need to know to help plan your day and celebrate the Royal Wedding on 19th May!
Heading to Windsor to see the Royal Wedding for yourself?
Windsor is in the county of Berkshire and situated immediately south of the River Thames, 30 miles west of London. Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding is taking place in St. George’s Chapel which is situated within the precincts of Windsor Castle. Unfortunately, unless you are one of the 600 guests invited to the wedding ceremony itself, or have been lucky enough to be one of the 2,640 members of the public invited to watch the couple and guests arrive and depart the chapel, you will have to try and secure yourself a vantage point along the processional route the couple will take immediately following the wedding ceremony.
Pre-planning your visit to Windsor is essential. Most hotel rooms were booked up weeks ago and any remaining ones are now very expensive. If you haven’t already secured accommodation in Windsor itself, it might be worth looking at securing accommodation in locations within an hours journey time from the town itself.
How to get there
Windsor has excellent transport links – Heathrow Airport is just 15 minutes away with Luton and Gatwick Airports within an hour’s drive.
*Reminder that the ceremony will begin at 12 noon with the couple taking a carriage ride around Windsor at 1pm.*
Heathrow Airport Bus Services
Bus route 8 operates up to every 30 minutes, providing direct services between Windsor town centre and Heathrow Terminal 5. Journey time is up to 1 hour. There are free shuttle bus transfers between all terminals at Heathrow Airport.
To plan your bus journey, go here.
Arriving by train
Windsor is served by two railway stations, Windsor and Eton Central and Windsor and Eton Riverside. Both are situated within a few minutes walk of Windsor Castle.
Great Western Railway operates services between London Paddington, Reading and Oxford, as well as destinations across South Wales and the West of England. Change trains at Slough to catch the branch line service to Windsor and Eton Central. The journey from London takes between 25 – 50 minutes depending on stopping patterns and connections.
The first train departing Paddington for Windsor on the morning of 19th May leaves Paddington at 05:18, changing trains at Slough, and arrives in Windsor at 05:50. This route currently has a further 17 trains scheduled to arrive in Windsor before 12 noon on the day of the wedding (ie the ceremony start time).
South Western Railway operates direct services from London Waterloo to Windsor and Eton Riverside station. The journey time from London is approximately 55 minutes. The first train departing Waterloo for Windsor on the morning of 19th May, leaves Waterloo at 05:05 and arrives in Windsor at 06:03. This route currently has a further 23 trains scheduled to arrive in Windsor before 12 noon on the day of the wedding.
Both services will be putting extra carriages on their services to accommodate the expected huge demand, queuing systems will be put into place, and security checks will be undertaken, so remember to allow for this time, and take as few bags as possible. The services are also expected to be longer, possibly with more stops to service the route better.
For timetables, journey planner, fares and live information for all rail services, visit National Rail.
Arriving by bus
Green Line 702 (run by Reading Buses) is an hourly coach service between London Victoria Coach Station and Windsor, with stops at Hyde Park Corner, Kensington High Street and Hammersmith. On the day of the wedding, the first bus departs Victoria at 08:20 and arrives in Windsor at 09:35, with one further bus arriving in Windsor before 12 noon. Please note that due to security reasons there are no left luggage facilities available in Windsor.
For timetables and journey planner go here.
Arriving by car
If driving on the M4 motorway exit at junction 6 (Windsor); M3 motorway exit at junction 3 (Bagshot); M25 motorway exit at junction 13 (Egham); M40 motorway exit at junction 4 (Marlow) or junction 2 (Beaconsfield).
The local council has designated one area for car parking on the day of the wedding. This is to aid security and access, as Windsor is a relatively small town.
The designated car park has 6,000 spaces which are being allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The car park is located at the Review Ground, Windsor Great Park (A332), postcode SL4 2BD. Parking must be booked in advance and costs £30. Although provision is being made for Blue Badge permit holders, the car park is approximately 25 minutes walk from the designated viewing areas along the procession route. The car park opens at 4am and closes at 10pm.
Although visitor numbers are expected to be extremely high, camping will not be allowed either in the car park or along the procession route.
Expect security checks and local road closures. Some items will be prohibited but folding chairs and umbrellas will be allowed.
To book parking and see restrictions go here.
Where to go to see Prince Harry and Meghan on their wedding day
By far the best chance of getting a good view of the happy couple will be by getting a good position on 2.64-mile Long Walk which rolls from Snow Hill to the gates of Windsor Castle itself.
There will be events on Long Walk throughout the day, with large screens showing the wedding ceremony live (ceremony begins at 12pm), but the couple will take a carriage ride from the castle after the ceremony.
The newlyweds will leave Windsor Castle at approximately 1pm, in a carriage (probably in an Ascot Landau, weather dependent) and enter Windsor town centre via Castle Hill, onto High Street. They will then proceed through the town to Sheet Street, Kings Road and onto Albert Road, before turning onto the Long Walk and back into the castle precinct.
From Snow Hill, above the procession route, the eagle-eyed can find a sweeping aerial view of the carriage ride. The hilltop will offer fantastic views of the final stretch of the procession and will be a popular picnic spot on the day – get there early to reserve a spot!
The Queen uses these Landau carriages at Royal Ascot each year
Although you can view the procession from the town centre, streets are narrow and it is expected to be particularly crowded. Anyone hoping to secure a good vantage point from the town centre will need to get there at the crack of dawn…!
How to watch the Royal Wedding on TV at home:
UK and Ireland
Build up to the wedding will be covered by BBC1, ITV1 and Sky News from early on the morning of the 19th May. These channels will also be covering the wedding ceremony live, as well as the procession of the newly wedded Harry and Meghan around Windsor.
ITV will have Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham presenting their coverage, from 9:30am through to 3pm, with Chris Ship Nina Hossain, Charlotte Hawkins and Charlene White. ITV3 will also broadcast a one hour special highlights programme at 8pm after the event.
Sky News will have various names Kay Burley, Eamon Holmes and Rhiannon Mills on the beat for the day, but no timings as of yet.
The BBC’s coverage will probably be led by Huw Edwards, and begin at a similar time – between 9 and 10 am. No formal announcements have been made though.
The BBC have also announced that they will be waiving the need for a TV license on the day, because Prince Harry and Meghan’s nuptials are of ‘national importance’. This means town halls and other community spaces will be able to screen the royal wedding for free.
BBC America will be live streaming the BBC’s coverage.
E! News will have coverage from 5am Eastern Time/2am MST & PST, with a recap at 7pm EST/4pm MST and PST.
CBS will be covering the wedding from 4am EST and 1am MST/PST.
NBC will be providing coverage during the ‘Today Show’ on air from 4:30am EST and 1:30am MST/PST.
ABC’s coverage will start at 5am EST, ending about 10am EST.
PBS will be showing live coverage, but timings are not yet available. CNN and Fox are also expected to cover the wedding but haven’t yet released their schedules.
CBC TV, CBC News Network and online at cbcnews.ca will be airing coverage from 4am. The ceremony begins at 7am local time.
Most of the free-to-air television channels will be showing the wedding, with the ceremony beginning at 9pm AEST; Channel Nine have confirmed their coverage, beginning at 7pm Australian time, with Camilla Tominey, Dickie Arbiter and Arthur Edwards. It will also be streamed on 9Now, the channel’s app, for those without access to a television.
Channel Seven will broadcast live, with Angela Rippon, Victoria Arbiter, Hugo Vickers and Tim Ewart. They will begin at 4pm local time.
ABC and Sky will provide uninterrupted coverage from 7.30pm.
Channel Nine will be offering coverage online at 9Now, with ABC live-streaming via iView.
With the wedding ceremony commencing at 12 noon BST, it means late night viewing for our New Zealand friends.
TVNZ will begin with royal specials from 7pm, and air live BBC coverage from Windsor Castle from 9pm; the ceremony starts at 11pm. There will be a recap the following day.
No other channels have released their schedules yet.
‘ZDF Royal’ will be live from Windsor from 11am local time, until 3pm. The ceremony appears to be repeated on Saturday 19th at 7.25pm.
RTL will also be showing Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, with coverage beginning at 10am until 2.30pm local time.
TF1 and France2 will broadcast the wedding, as will TV5 Monde and Franceinfo. No timing info yet.
Canale 5 are to cover the big day from 12.30 to 2.45pm.
Hola.com will almost certainly be streaming the events, as will RTVE. More when we have it.
BBC Lifestyle, DStv channel 174, will broadcast the ceremony in South Africa via a live stream of the build-up and the ceremony, from 10.15am CAT and finishing at around approximately 3.30pm CAT. BBC World News, DSTV channel 400, will also be live streaming the ceremony.
Streaming sites Spotify and Apple Music have announces that they will have the full ceremony available for digital download just hours after the ceremony ends – ideal for those who will miss watching the occasion live or want a permanent record of it!
The Crown Chronicles’ expert, worldwide coverage
As well as regular updates on the build up to the day, and on the day itself via our website and social media channels, our very own editor, Victoria, is lending her expert knowledge to support the BBC’s coverage.
On the day before the wedding (18th May), she will be joining BBC Radio 5 live for a one hour special covering what to expect from the big day with Adrian Chiles. Victoria will also be on BBC Breakfast to give her expert insight, and, she will be covering the event itself with BBC World Service Radio – meaning that wherever in the world our loyal readers are there is a good chance you will be able to hear our very own ‘Royal Expert’ describing and explaining the day’s events for you!
For information on how to tune in, visit the BBC World Service website here.
Look out on our twitter account for further updates on Victoria’s radio and television appearances. You can watch or listen to most TCC media appearances on our press page here.
The Crown Chronicles team will be live tweeting the day’s events and we want to hear from our loyal readers and royal fans about how you are celebrating the happy occasion! Send us photos of your own celebrations and tweet us your thoughts as to how the day is unfolding: what do you think of Meghan’s dress? How cute do Prince George and Princess Charlotte look? Which celebs have you spotted in the congregation?
Keep tweeting and interact with fellow royal watchers as well as looking out for updates live from Windsor by our editor, Victoria, who will be attempting to send updates herself during her BBC broadcast commitments.
Wherever you are going to be and however you plan to watch the wedding, we hope you will enjoy the celebrations and join in the fun!
All timings are British Summer Time (BST) unless otherwise stated. With thanks to @parttimeroyalist, @auscanucksarah, @PackhamGown!
Details correct at time of posting, please check local timings and plan your journey well in advance as this information is subject to change without notice or our knowledge – we offer this information in goodwill for our readers and will not be held responsible for any planning issues that arise because you choose to follow information shared here.