BBC says Queen’s funeral watched by peak audience of ‘28 million’

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The BBC says it achieved UK audience highs of 28 million watching its coverage of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday (19 September).

The broadcaster said the overall viewership of its funeral coverage accounted for “the majority of the UK public”.

Meanwhile, live footage of the Queen lying-in-state was streamed 25 million times across BBC online, it said.

“Yesterday was BBC One’s biggest viewing day since the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony,” a spokesperson said.

“At peak, 22.4 million people were watching across all BBC channels.”

The broadcaster added that the viewing figures it provided did not include live streaming on mobile devices or those watching on catch-up, so the final consolidated figures are likely to be higher.

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaking during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey (Gareth Fuller/PA)
The Archbishop of Canterbury speaking during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The BBC’s announcement comes shortly after the new culture secretary, Michelle Donelan, suggested that the state funeral was taxpayer money “well spent” amid the cost of living crisis.

Tuesday (20 September) marked the start of a period of royal mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and saw King Charles II head to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, which is believed to have been his mother’s favourite place.

The royal family are not expected to carry out any official engagements for a further seven days during this time.

This story is being updated