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The Will and Kate-athon: A guide to all the shows about the royal wedding

The whole world is watching and waiting for the royal wedding. Live coverage of next weekend's nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to shatter all TV ratings records. When Prince Charles and Lady Diana wed in 1981, the occasion was watched by more than 750 million worldwide. For William and Kate's big event, the global audience is expected to triple - up to three billion viewers, as projected by the British tabloid The Sun.

But how to while away the hours until they exchange vows? There's enough Will-and-Kate themed programming in the week ahead to satisfy even the most ardent royal watcher. Set aside some of the tea and crumpets for the big event next Friday.

Royal Wedding of a Lifetime Slice, April 24, 2 p.m.

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So exactly how did the love story of William and Kate come to be? This six-part documentary series, shown in succession, details the events leading up to William popping the question and also includes a sneak peek of the menu most likely to be served at their wedding. Fish and chips, anyone?

William & Kate Slice, April 24, 8 p.m.

Hailing from the U.S. cable channel Lifetime, this TV movie rewinds the royal couple's relationship, dating all the way back to their early days as undergrads at St. Andrew's University. NCIS regular Nico Evers-Swindell proves himself a capable William, while Kate is played by British actress Camilla Luddington.

Charles and Di: Once Upon a Time TLC, April 24, 7 p.m.

Harken back to the royal wedding of Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, which took place 30 years ago this summer.

Prince William & Catherine: A Royal Love Story Bravo!, April 25, 9 p.m.

Yet another intensely detailed deconstruction of the royal romance, with some secrets revealed for the first time. Such as: Kate was apparently mad about the lad long before they even met.

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The Queen's Toast: A Royal Wedding Special Comedy Network, April 25, 8:30 p.m.

Former Kids in the Hall regular Scott Thompson dons wig and crown to play the Queen in this send-up of the monarchy. The special will include cheeky standup turns from Canadian comics Sean Cullen and Debra DiGiovanni. We are amused.

Kate: The New Diana Bravo!, April 26, 9 p.m.

Let the unfair comparisons commence! Through interviews with monarchists and royal watchers, this documentary contrasts the lives of the late Princess Diana and Kate Middleton.

Extreme Royal Collections TLC, April 27, 10 p.m.

Believe it or not, some people devote their entire lives to collecting monarchy memorabilia. This program profiles several of the more extreme collectors, including an Australian couple who have turned their tchotchkes into a tourist attraction and a woman whose collection boasts several of the late Princess Diana's gowns.

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Inside the Royal Wedding NBC, April 27, 8 p.m.

Hosted by NBC Today Show fixtures Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, this breezy special promises to explain the wedding logistics to American viewers, with particular attention paid to Kate's dress and the wedding cake.

Kate & William: A Modern Romance Bravo!, April 28, 9 p.m.

British TV presenter Mary Nightingale hosts this documentary forecasting the life that lies ahead for the gilded couple. The program includes interviews with William and Kate's former schoolmates and the usual royal experts.

Will and Kate: Road to the Altar E!, April 29, 9 p.m.

It was probably inevitable that Ryan Seacrest would weigh in on the royal nuptials at some point. The American Idol host breaks down how the big day will unfold, and the likelihood that the cranky Brit Simon Cowell will be allowed into the reception.

The Royal Wedding Insider Vision TV, April 29, 3 p.m.

An hour-long special that promises to examine the fashion and marketing of the upcoming royal wedding, with insight provided by Canadian fashion maven Wayne Clark, anti-monarchist Grant Stoddard and Globe and Mail columnist Michael Valpy.

Check local listings.

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