BBC responds to complaints over Prince Philip funeral coverage

Over 11 million people watched Prince Philip's funeral. (Getty)
Over 11 million people watched Prince Philip's funeral. (Getty)

The BBC has defended itself after being hit with complaints over its extensive coverage of Prince Philip’s funeral despite record viewing figures.

The broadcaster dedicated several hours of its schedule to the funeral at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on 17 April, which was viewed by over 11 million people.

However, despite the massive audience, it has now confirmed that there were some complaints about the coverage.

The BBC said in a statement: “The funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally.

“We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given, and impact this had on the billed BBC One schedule.

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The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, is carried ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Picture date: Saturday April 17, 2021.
The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin during the funeral. (PA) (PA)

“We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.”

“We are grateful for all feedback, and we always listen to the response from our audiences,” it said.

The latest statement comes after there were close to 110,000 complaints over the BBC’s wall-to-wall-coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

The Prince passed away at Windsor Castle on 9 April, at the age of 99.

A tribute to Prince Philip is displayed on a large screen in Piccadilly Circus, London following the announcement that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had died on April 09, 2021.
A tribute to Prince Philip is displayed on a large screen in Piccadilly Circus, London (PA) (EMPICS Entertainment)

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Regular programming was interrupted across BBC channels on TV and BBC radio stations when Buckingham Palace announced the death and it took several days for all cancelled programmes to aired.

It was later revealed that the coverage drew 109,741 complaints, which is thought to set a record for the most complained-about piece of programming in BBC history.

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