Royal Wives of Windsor historian

Everything you need to know about the Royal Wives of Windsor

Ahead of the royal wedding, ITV looks back at previous royal brides

Emmy Griffiths

Ahead of the highly-anticipated wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May, ITV has taken a look at the many royal women who married into the most famous family in the world, and how today's society has completely changed the monarchy's standard traditions in a way that wouldn't have been possible even one generation ago. Here's everything you need to know about Monday night's documentary, The Royal Wives of Windsor…

Historians will look back at royal brides

Meghan's unconventional roots as an American divorcee who has made a successful career as an actress could once have been enough to prevent her royal marriage from Harry from taking place. However, the soon-to-be bride has been welcomed by the British public, and by the monarchy, with open arms – but it wasn't always as easy. The two-part series will look at other women to marry into the royal family, including Wallis Simpson, whose marriage to King Edward VIII as a two-time divorcee led to a constitutional crisis and Edward's abdication. The show will also look at the wedding, scandals and sense of duty surrounding other royal brides, including the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Lady Diana Spencer, Sarah Ferguson and of course, Kate Middleton. The programme will feature historians including David Starkey and Kate Williams as they look back at the women who have helped shape the monarchy.

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The first episode will look at how the monarchy sees a suitable bride, and how challenging becoming a member of the royal family can be, from a loss of privacy to unprecedented media attention. Meghan's own relationship with Harry was met with such attentions, to the point where Prince Harry was forced to make a statement requesting her privacy. The statement read: "His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment… Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her."

READ: Will Prince Louis go to the royal wedding?

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