Tuesday 17 July 2018

RTE defends 'controversial decision' to broadcast Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry later this month (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry later this month (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Gareth Cross

RTE has defended their decision to broadcast the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, saying there will likely be huge public interest in the nuptials and the coverage is being provided for free.

RTE will broadcast the Royal Nuptials live on RTE One on May 19, a decision which sparked anger among some on social media.

Sinn Fein Fingal councillor Paul Donnelly described the move as “a disgraceful waste of taxpayers' money,” asking, "surely there's something happening in Ireland more worthy of our national broadcasting bothering to broadcast?"

An RTE spokesperson defended the decision, pointing out that it's costing our national broadcaster nothing to air the nuptials but is likely to deliver big ratings, if Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding was anything to go by.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave Westminster Abbey following their marriage ceremony, on April 29, 2011
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave Westminster Abbey following their marriage ceremony, on April 29, 2011

“The Royal Wedding is being offered to RTE and other public service broadcasters - free of charge via the BBC,” the spokesperson said.

“RTE will provide its own commentary.”

The spokesperson said that the RTE footage would not include a studio set and would simply be voice overs, including pictures and footage.

“We previously showed William and Kate's wedding, so this is not the first time RTE has shown a royal wedding,” the spokesperson pointed out.

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast Niall O Donnghaile called the decision to broadcast the wedding "controversial" and said RTE should focus on events that are happening in Ireland.

He said: "The scheduling issue is a matter for RTE and you can see from the reaction on social media that it is unsurprisingly a bit of a controversial decision.

“I would rather they would focus on providing a full service, and indeed proper coverage right across Ireland, before they would be showing events happening in Britain.”

Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will tie the knot on May 19 at Windsor Castle.

Belfast Telegraph

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