Over 26 million in UK watch funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

·2-min read
 (via REUTERS)

The Queen's funeral service at Westminster Abbey had an average TV audience of 26.2 million people across all channels, according to figures released by the research organisation Barb.

The service was broadcast simultaneously on a range of networks, including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV along with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; and Sky News and Sky Sports.

An incredible 32.5 million - the majority of the British public - tuned into BBC coverage of the funeral.

BBC One broadcast uninterrupted coverage of the funeral from 8am to 5pm, with ITV’s coverage starting at 9.30am.

It puts the funeral, which took place on Monday morning, among the most-watched TV events in British history.

England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup Final against Germany is believed to hold the record - with an estimated 32.3 million viewers.

The funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales on September 6, 1997, was watched by an average of 32.1 million people, including 19.3 million on BBC One and 11.7 million on ITV.

It is also lower than the combined audience of 28.2 million people who watched the televised address by former prime minister Boris Johnson in March 2020, during which he announced the first Covid-19 lockdown.

The figure of 26.2 million is a provisional measure of the television audience and does not include those who watched the funeral service on other devices.

The BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral was led by Huw Edwards and Fergal Keane in London while Kirsty Young and David Dimbleby reported from Windsor. At its peak, 22.4 million people were watching across all BBC channels while the event marked BBC One’s biggest viewing day since the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony.

ITV’s main channel broadcast averaged 3.5 million viewers between 9.30am and 6pm, and peaked with 5.4 million.

Sky News recorded a peak TV audience of 1.8 million at 12:59 across all Sky channels, while over 24 million watched the broadcaster’s live streams on YouTube througout the day.