The Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey drew an average TV audience of over 26million across a range of UK networks.
Her Majesty’s dispatch on Monday followed her record 70 years as Commonwealth Head of State and was simulcast on a range of networks including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; and Sky News and Sky Sports.
Overnight figures released by research body Barb suggest 26.2million people watched her memorial service at Westminster Abbey in Britain, but that doesn’t take into account streaming and the number final could be higher when released.
Recently, the England-Italy UEFA Euro 2020 final in July 2021 attracted 29.85 million viewers and Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown declaration on March 23, 2020 attracted 27.1 million viewers.
Princess Diana’s funeral, when most people watched the events on TV, drew 32.1 million viewers.
Even without taking into account viewers who watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on iPlayer or other UK streaming services, that would still make it the 10th most-watched event in British history.
King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown laid on it carried by pallbearers as she leaves Westminster Abbey
The Grenadier Guards yesterday seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin, moving it safely to every point of the funeral and procession
The numbers are still being compiled, but are expected to dwarf every other live TV show in history.
Prior to the momentous occasion, industry experts had predicted that a staggering 4.1 billion viewers were expected to tune in to the show.
It would break the previous record of 3.5 billion people watching boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.
If their predictions are correct, the Queen’s state funeral would eclipse all other broadcast records – including Live8 concerts in 2005, New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations in Sydney in 2010 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Carolina Beltramo, TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, said: “Such is the love and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II around the world that her funeral is destined to be the greatest live television event in history. .”
“Generations of people around the world will not have been alive the last time pomp and pageantry was seen on this scale.
“Although it’s a sad occasion, they can be forgiven for being captivated by a spectacle that resonates through history.” For this reason alone, they will be attracted by the billions to witness the dawn of this new era.
“As many as 4.1 billion people are expected to tune in Monday to witness this historic moment as half of planet Earth’s inhabitants pause to pay their respects.
“Thanks to advances in technology, which mean most of us now carry televisions in our pockets, viewing figures will eclipse the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, when 3.6 billion people watched Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch in 1996.
“In contrast, around 2.5 billion people watched Diana, Princess of Wales’ service 25 years ago, with 31 million Britons tuning in.”
The team of eight Grenadier Guards climbed the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal Family
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II carried by the good pallbearers leaving the state funeral held at Westminster Abbey yesterday
A sea of people, holding flags and banners, lined the road to Windsor as Her Majesty made her final journey on Monday afternoon
Millions of mourners gathered in Westminster and Buckingham Palace to attend the Queen’s funeral, with people coming from all over the world to take part in the commemorations.
And countless others lined the roads from London to Windsor, where Her Majesty was finally buried, with lines six or seven deep pictured on the Queen’s final 22-mile journey from Wellington Arch to St George’s Chapel, where she was buried next to her husband, father, mother and sister in the royal crypt
Such is the love for the 96-year-old monarch around the world, his funeral was always expected to attract large numbers of viewers – with the total number expected to surpass the previous record opening of the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, seen by 3.5 billion people.
More than 4,000 servicemen attended the Queen’s state funeral, which ended at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, pictured above
2010/11: Over 1.1 billion people watched Sydney’s epic New Year’s Eve fireworks
1996: An estimated 3.5 billion people watched boxing icon Muhammad Ali light the Olympic beacon and open the Atlanta Games
1985: Over 1.9 billion people watch the late Freddie Mercury stun the Wembley crowd for their iconic Live Aid show
The number is thought to have dwarfed those who attended Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, which was seen by around a billion people.
And on Tuesday the government revealed that 250,000 people lined up to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in state inside Westminster Hall.
The momentous occasion was the first British state funeral since that of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill on January 24, 1965.
Queen Elizabeth II now rests in peace for eternity in the royal vault under St. George’s Chapel with her husband, father, mother and sister.
She is the 12th British monarch to be buried at Windsor and chose to be with her family on the ‘We Four’ principle pursued by her father George VI.
He repeatedly told his daughter that after her brother’s abdication, a happy and united royal family was the most important thing in life after the duties of monarch.
It came after a highly symbolic and emotional public moment in which the Queen’s crown, orb and scepter were removed from her coffin so that she could be lowered to her grave under St George’s Chapel in Windsor” in as a simple Christian soul”.
Her Majesty was carried by eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards who lifted and set down the Queen’s lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on its journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where she rests peacefully today.