Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey was watched by more than 26 million viewers in the UK, provisional figures have shown.
This makes it one of the country’s biggest ever TV audiences.
The service was broadcast on a range of channels, with an average of 26.2 million people tuning in according to ratings released by the research organisation Barb.
Queen’s funeral viewing figures
The figure is not quite as high as the official ratings for Diana, Princess of Wales. In September 1997 her funeral saw an average of 32.1 million viewers, including 19.3 million on BBC One and 11.7 million on ITV, and remains the highest audience for a television broadcast since comparable figures began in August 1981.
‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’
In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen.
1926 – 2022 pic.twitter.com/byh5uVNDLq
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 19, 2022
The figure is also lower than the combined audience of 28.2 million people who watched Boris Johnson’s televised address announcing the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.
Queen’s funeral watched by more people than Euro 2020 final
However, it is large enough to rank as one of the biggest TV audiences of modern times.
The ratings are higher than those for the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which had 24.2 million and 24.5 million viewers respectively on BBC One, and the final of the Euro 2020 football championship in July 2021, which attracted a combined total of 22.5 million on BBC One and ITV.
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.
Official ratings for the funeral will be published by Barb next week and will include data for people who viewed the service on tablets, PCs and smartphones.
Sky’s sports channels were among the many other TV channels which switched from their typical coverage to also broadcast the historic moment of the late monarch’s funeral.
A number of channels continued to broadcast alternative content during the funeral with Channel 4 airing the Oscar-nominated 1953 technicolour documentary of the Queen’s coronation, titled A Queen Is Crowned, narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier instead.
Channel 5 aired 2017’s The Emoji Movie starring James Corden, Sir Patrick Stewart and Anna Faris.