On August 27, a Berlin television station will devote three hours of coverage to the wedding of two German citizens, Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preussen and Sophie Prinzessin von Isenburg. The program will include the wedding ceremony in the Friedenkirche, located in the park of Sanssouci, a ride in a landau drawn by four horses, and a reception at Sanssouci for 700 guests, including European royalty and German politicians.
The wedding has been described as "one of the outstanding social events" of this year. German royal expert Rolf-Seelmann-Eggebert will be one of the anchors of the program, which will air starting at 11 a.m., on the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, a local channel broadcasting in Berlin.
This will not be a national broadcast.
German politicians, including Stefan Bernard, a member of the Brandenburg state government, spoke out against RBB's coverage and the "nobility cult."
"In contrast to Great Britain and Monaco, we have no monarchy. This is a wedding of two citizens of a republic. Klaus Ness, media spokesman for the SPD, a leftist political party, also spoke out against RBB's coverage. "I'm sure that there will be a discussion of these misplaced priorities at the next council meeting."
The RBB has "rejected the criticism." A spokesman said that the network often reports on "rare royal subjects," and that the wedding has a regional interest. The network has not made public the cost of the live transmission, but left wing politicians are demanding that the station provide this information.
The young couple are not receiving payment for the broadcasting of the wedding. The idea for the broadcast came from RBB officials, after seeing the ratings successes for the British and Monagesque wedding.
One politician, Linda Teuteberg, a media policy specialist for the FDP in Brandenburg, chastised the SPD and the Left for their criticism. She said it was within the RBB's "editorial freedom" to decide which events it reports. "As long as we do not get live coverage on all the channels, simultaneously, which was the case with the other royal weddings, I am pleased with the RBB's offer."
Michaela Blankart, the official spokeswoman for the groom, cannot understand the criticism of the coverage. "No one is forced to watch the wedding," she said. "And for Potsdam is one giant advertisement."