SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ PREPARES VIEWERS FOR THE ROYAL WEDDING WITH A PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE LOOK AT AMERICAN PRINCESSES IN MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ PREPARES VIEWERS FOR THE ROYAL WEDDING WITH A PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE LOOK AT AMERICAN PRINCESSES IN
MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE
NEW SPECIAL PREMIERES SUNDAY, MAY 13 AT 9 PM ET/PT
NEW YORK – April 12, 2018 – As the world waits for the wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle on May 19, Smithsonian Channel™ takes a unique look at the couple’s relationship through a historical lens to spotlight how this revolutionary royal couple is following in a long tradition of exceptional American women who married into European nobility. This special edition of the hit series MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES combines archival material and interviews to explore Meghan Markle’s story in the context of other American “princesses” – from Consuelo Vanderbilt to Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly – who crossed the Atlantic before her to marry into European aristocracy. MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE premieres Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE chronicles Meghan’s life, from her childhood in California to her blossoming acting career and her romance with Prince Harry. The special features rare footage of an 11-year-old Meghan developing her feminist voice, and later highlights her global humanitarian work, including her advocacy for gender equality in work with the United Nations. Dedication to charitable campaigns is something that strongly unites the couple – and parallels are drawn to Princess Diana, whose legacy is meaningful to both Meghan and Prince Harry.
As Meghan Markle prepares to wed her prince, the experiences of past American princesses illustrate the challenges and potential for her future. Brooklyn-born Rita Hayworth was the first movie star to become a true royal, marrying Muslim Prince Aly Khan. Her short-lived romance ended less than four years later, when she left the prince to return to her film career. Grace Kelly left Hollywood for good when she embraced her new role as princess in her famed marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. She was adored by her subjects and brought newfound glamour to the Principality. “Princess Grace of Monaco said that she couldn’t have done the job of being Prince Rainier’s wife unless she had been an actress. It gave her an edge,” historian Dr. Piers Brendon says in the special.
This latest royal marriage can also tell us a great deal about how the British Royal Family and society have changed – in terms of attitudes to class, race, style, acceptability and tolerance. Throughout the special, experts including Grant Harrold, former butler to Prince Harry and Prince Charles, and American Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke – whose marriage to a British aristocrat will one day make her the Countess of Sandwich – offer insights on how the new American princess will affect perceptions of the Royal Family.
MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE will also premiere simultaneously in Canada on Sunday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada.
MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: MEGHAN MARKLE is produced by Finestripe Productions and Smithsonian Networks. Sue Summers and Michael Burke serve as executive producers for Finestripe Productions. David Royle and Charles Poe are executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.
Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, First Ladies Revealed, Polar Bear Town, The Lost Tapes, Amazing Monkeys, America’s Secret Space Heroes, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Titanic’s Fatal Fire, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, Nightmare on Everest, Diana and the Paparazzi, Diana: The Day We Said Goodbye andFlying High with Phil Keoghan. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth™, through SN Digital LLC., a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.