Everything you need to know about watching the royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
In case you haven't heard, Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle are getting married Saturday.
Chris Jackson | Getty Images 2017

Updated: May 18, 5:44 a.m. | Posted: 4 a.m., May 16

The wedding of the year takes place Saturday — at least in Britain — when Prince Harry marries American Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel.

Wait a sec — who is getting married? A British dude? Why should you care? And you have to wake up at what ungodly hour on the weekend to watch?

Here are a few things to know about the big day.

Remind me ... who's Prince Harry?

He's the grandson of Queen Elizabeth and the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. His older brother, Prince William, is heir to the throne, behind Charles.

I thought Prince Harry already got married?

You're thinking about his older brother, Prince William, who married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in 2011. That royal wedding was watched by 23 million Americans.

If you swear you saw Harry at the altar, you're right — sort of. Harry was William's best man. On Saturday, their roles will be reversed, when William plays the role of best man.

Who is Meghan Markle?

Markle, 36, is an American actress who was mostly recently on USA Network's legal drama "Suits." Her final episode aired last month.

She has campaigned with the United Nations on gender equality, written in Time magazine about girls' education and the stigma surrounding menstruation, and has traveled to Rwanda as global ambassador for the charity World Vision Canada.

At a 2015 star-studded event for the U.N. women's agency, she said, "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist." She then relayed a story about how, at the age of 11, she became a female advocate after protesting Procter and Gamble's use of the phrase, "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" in a dishwashing ad.

She wrote to the company, then-first lady Hillary Clinton, attorney Gloria Allred and pioneering TV journalist Linda Ellerbee. In the end, the company changed the ad. It became, "people all over America."

Because her background has made headlines, we'll also note that she's biracial. Harry took the unusual step of officially confirming the romance in order to warn the media off.

The prince condemned "outright sexism and racism" in some online comments, and said some articles with "racial undertones" had crossed the line. Earlier this year, Twitter banned a Republican congressional candidate for a racist tweet targeting Markle.

Is Markle the first American to marry a royal?

That would be a no.

In 1936, King Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson. At the time, the idea of a British royal — especially the current monarch — marrying a divorcee was considered disgraceful. But Edward said it was "impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love."

After Edward abdicated, his brother became King George VI. You may know him better as Queen Elizabeth's father.

And let's not forget that actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

Other Americans who married into royalty include Lisa Halaby — better known as Queen Noor of Jordan — actress Rita Hayworth and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' younger sister, Lee Radziwill.

So should I start calling her Princess Meghan?

No. Markle can only use princess before her name if she were born into the royal family. However, when she marries Prince Harry, she'll become Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales.

The queen will also likely bestow Harry and Markle with their own royal titles, which Markle will likely use instead. Middleton, for example, is known as the Duchess of Cambridge rather than Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales.

But wait a minute, you say. What about Princess Diana — she wasn't born into the royal family and yet she's a princess.

Technically, Diana was the Princess of Wales, so even though she had the word "princess" in her name, her official title wasn't Princess Diana. But let's be real, Princess Diana rolls off the tongue a lot more nicely than Princess of Wales.

Tell me about the dress.

Well, there's not much to say about it right now. Details of who's designing the dress to what it'll look like have been tightly guarded. It's unlikely anything will leak before the big day.

The world didn't glimpse Middleton's dress until she left her hotel on her wedding day, with the full reveal happening when she arrived at Westminster Abbey.

What's all the fuss over Markle's dad?

Markle announced Thursday her father would not walk her down the aisle due to health problems. Instead, Charles — Harry's dad — will accompany her.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," she said in a statement released by Kensington Palace. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

The palace has not revealed details about 73-year-old Thomas Markle's health issues, but the celebrity website TMZ said he is hospitalized in California after undergoing a procedure to clear blocked coronary arteries.

The retired television cinematographer reportedly told the website he was OK but needed to rest. Earlier in the week, he had told them he would not attend the wedding after suffering a heart attack amid media frenzy around the nuptials.

TMZ reported the elder Markle had decided to stay away after criticism over his decision to pose for mocked up wedding-preparation shots taken by a paparazzi agency.

Will Harry be king?

Probably not. Harry is now sixth in line to the throne, after his father (Charles), older brother (William) and William's three children (Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis).

But hey, never say never. Stranger things have happened, like a mummified monkey being found in the old Dayton's building. And then finding out it might not have been the only rogue simian running loose in the Minneapolis air ducts.

What's the time difference, aka what time do I need to get up to watch?

Early. England is six hours ahead of Minneapolis.

Expect members of the royal family to begin arriving around 11:20 a.m. British time, which means you'll need to be up by 5:20 a.m. here in the Central time zone.

Other times to have handy:

• 5:45 a.m. CT/11:45 a.m. BST: Harry and William arrive at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

• 5:55 a.m CT/11:55 a.m. BST: Queen Elizabeth arrives.

• 5:59 a.m. CT/11:59 a.m. BST: Markle arrives.

• 6 a.m. CT/12 p.m. BST: The wedding service begins. It's expected to last about an hour.

• 7 a.m. CT/1 p.m. BST: The newlyweds embark on a horse-drawn carriage procession from Windsor Castle through the town center and back for their reception.

How can I watch?

• NBC: The "Today Show" will have live coverage beginning at 3:30 a.m. Central time. No TV? Stream their coverage at Today.com

• ABC: "Good Morning America" and ABC News will begin their coverage at 4 a.m. Central time. You can also stream their coverage at ABCNews.com or GoodMorningAmerica.com.

• CBS: Full coverage begins at 3 a.m. Central time. Stream it live at CBSnews.com/live.

• The royal family's YouTube channel: A livestream of the day's events will begin at 5 a.m. Central time.

• BBC America: They'll be streaming royal wedding coverage on their YouTube channel.

• HBO: Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan — you probably know them better as Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon — will put their own spin on the wedding for this "Funny or Die" special airing on HBO. "The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish" airs live at 6:30 a.m. Central time. Of course, this means you'll need an HBO account to watch. We can't help you there.

Who's invited?

About 600 friends and family have been invited to watch Harry and Markle tie the knot. Reportedly not on the list are President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May. A person with knowledge of the guest list says former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama also are not attending.

Meanwhile, about 1,200 members of the public — many involved with charities or community groups — have been invited to the grounds of the castle for the celebration.

So I'm not invited. Someone's having a party I can attend, right?

Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis is throwing a huge watch party Saturday. Expect big-screen projectors and 80-inch HDTVs, along with complimentary wedding cake. For those who want to toast the happy couple, drink specials will be available at 8 a.m.

Doors open at 5 a.m. Expect a crowd. About 900 people showed up in 2011 when Brit's hosted a viewing party for the wedding of William and Kate.

If waking up that early isn't your thing, or you want to watch it on a really big screen, head to a Marcus Theatre. The royal wedding will play at 10 a.m. at various theaters across Minnesota, including in Oakdale, Duluth and Rochester. Admission is $10.

Why should I care?

We don't have a really good answer for this other than it's fun to watch the spectacle of a big British royal wedding.

Plus, the hats!

Meh, I still don't care.

OK, well ... how about some scone recipes then? Pair it with some tea and you'll be an honorary Brit for the morning.

Chocolate cherry scones

Classic scones

Buttermilk scones

If you want light, tender scones, don't overwork the dough

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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