There is no escaping the Royal Hype Machine, and now YouTube is getting in on the act. Google has announced the April 29 wedding between Britain's Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton will be streamed live on YouTube. Royal-watchers, anglophiles, and the merely curious will be able to watch every minute of the ceremony on the official YouTube Royal Channel.
"More than 50 years ago, the marriage of The Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, and Antony Armstrong-Jones was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on television and had over 20 million viewers," wrote Google's Rachel Ball in a Tuesday blog post. "This one is already heralded as the first of the Internet age, where for the first time in thousands of years of royal history, the moment will be captured online and preserved forever."
Indeed, the royal streaming may be a sign of things to come, as organizers of live events turn to the Internet to reach a global audience. Earlier this month, Google launched YouTube Live, new branch of the video-sharing service that streams live events rather than the recorded videos found on the regular YouTube site.
For Britain's royal family--as well as other image-conscious individuals and organizations--YouTube Live provides an appealing platform where they control the message. Live-streaming frees event planners from the whims of third parties, such as broadcast networks that may be less enthusiastic about showing every minute of the ceremony. And I suspect the Royal Channel's coverage won't include snarky cable TV hosts intent on ridiculing the bridesmaids' dresses or Prince William's retreating hairline.
There will be commentary, however. The Royal Channel will feature live updates and insights throughout the event. If you happen to miss it live, the wedding will be available for viewing on the site afterward. The live stream begins Friday, April 29 at 10:00a BST (9:00a GMT, 2:00a PT, 5:00a ET).
If, by chance, your invitation got lost in the mail, will you watch the royal wedding live on YouTube?