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William & Kate's Royal Wedding, Live on YouTube

The British monarchy is often accused of being behind the times, but with this month's royal wedding, it is thoroughly embracing the digital age. Palace officials said the nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton will be streamed live on the "royal channel" on YouTube.

There will be four hours of live coverage on April 29, including the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the procession to Buckingham Palace, and the newlyweds' appearance on the palace balcony for an expected first public kiss.

"The couple wish to strike a balance between a day that is sacred and intimate and a day that will be a cause for global celebration," a St. James's Palace spokesman said. "To that end, they want the wedding to be as accessible to as many people as possible and that's why they are communicating in this way."

William's press office will provide live blogging commentary, which is believed to be the first time YouTube has run a live blog alongside a streaming event.

Flickr is even getting into the act -- photos will be posted on the site. There is also an Official Royal Wedding Web site, which has seen more than 8 million page views since its launch.

While excitement grows in Britain and around the world, there were reports that NBC was going to cut back on its coverage, fearing the royal couple was "too boring" and that no one in the U.S. really cares about some wedding in England.

However on Tuesday NBC denied that, saying in a statement, according to

"This could not be more false - NBC News has the most aggressive and comprehensive coverage of the royal wedding... This has been the plan from the beginning ...Cheerio!"

American networks are going all-out for the wedding, sending their top talent to London cover it. CNN alone will have a whopping 125 reporters on the ground, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

Tens of millions of people are expected to stay up late (or get up early) to watch the proceedings, the bulk of which will take place between 3-5 a.m. East Coast time.

However, a Vanity Fair/"60 Minutes" poll taken early this year found that 65% of Americans said they didn't care about the royal wedding. But TV executives dismissed the findings, saying it conflicts with their own internal research.

But even if the poll is correct, that still leaves a large potential audience.

"If 35% of Americans tune in, that's still a pretty darn substantial event," Mark Lukasiewicz, vice president of NBC news specials and digital media, told the Times.


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