How Long Is the Royal Wedding & When Does It End?

meghan markle

Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Royal Wedding is today and millions of people all across the world will be gathering in front of their TVs, computers, and mobile devices to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wed. This fairytale event has events taking place off and on most of the day, but the ceremony itself where the happy couple exchanges vows will only be about an hour long, and you might want to add in an extra hour after that to catch the procession. If you’re staying up late or getting up early in order to catch the event, you’re likely wondering just what time it will be over. Read on below for more details.

Guests will begin arriving for the royal wedding at 9:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m. Eastern.) But it’s going to be a long time before the wedding is over and you can return to all your ordinary activities.

The actual wedding ceremony, where the couple exchanges their vows, will be last about an hour. It begins at 12 p.m. GMT and is scheduled to be over by 1 p.m. GMT. In U.S. terms, that’s 7-8 a.m. Eastern (6-7 a.m. Central or 4-5 a.m. Pacific.)

However, you might not want to tune out quite yet. Instead, if you’re wanting to catch the best parts of the ceremony, you’ll want to watch for about two hours, until around 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. GMT (which translates to 8:30 to 9 a.m. Eastern/7:30 or 8 a.m. Central/5:30 or 6 a.m. Pacific.) This is because a beautiful carriage ride procession will start immediately after the wedding ends and last about 25 minutes. Theoretically, this would mean everything would be over by 1:30 p.m. GMT or 2 p.m. if things run a little longer. But just to be on the safe side, most publications are reporting that things may take a little longer than that. The festivities will continue after the carriage procession is over, with Meghan and Harry expected to arrive at a luncheon reception shortly after the carriage ride ends, and then they will attend a second dinner reception later in the day.

Most televised broadcasts of the wedding are ending around 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Eastern. So even if you want to watch longer, or if you’re watching on TV you probably won’t be able to follow coverage too much longer than that. There will be a luncheon reception and a private dinner reception later in the day, but those will be private and likely not televised.

In conclusion, the Royal Wedding itself will last about two hours from start to finish, if you’re wanting to watch both the wedding ceremony and the carriage ride procession. That puts the whole thing ending around 8:30 to 9 a.m. Eastern.