The Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey was watched by an average audience of 26.2 million across all TV
The Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey had an average television audience of more than 26 million people across a range of UK networks.
Her Majesty’s broadcast on Monday followed her 70-year record as Commonwealth head of state and was broadcast simultaneously on a number of networks including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV along with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; and Sky News and Sky Sports.
Tonight’s figures published by the research organization Barb suggest that 26.2 million attended her memorial service at Westminster Abbey in Britain.
But this doesn’t take into account streaming and the millions who watched from pubs and screens set up in public spaces across the country, so the final figure could be higher.
More recently, the England v Italy UEFA Euro 2020 final in July 2021 had 29.85 million viewers and Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown announcement on 23 March 2020 had 27.1 million viewers.
Princess Diana’s funeral, when most people watched events on a television, had an audience of 32.1 million.
Even without taking into account the viewers who watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on iPlayer or other streaming services in the UK, that would still make it the 10th most watched event in British history.
It is also believed that 4.1 billion people worldwide watched the footage of the Queen’s funeral, which is more than Live Aid 1985 and Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.
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 Queen Elizabeth II’s casket with the Imperial State Crown resting on top on it carried by pallbearers as it leaves Westminster Abbey
The Grenadier Guards transferred the Queen’s coffin without incident yesterday, moving it safely to each point of the funeral and procession
Across the 50-plus channels broadcasting the service, 20 million people watched on BBC One as audiences peaked at 12.25pm as her coffin emerged from Westminster Abbey.
Ahead of the milestone event, industry experts had predicted that a staggering 4.1 billion viewers were expected to tune in to the broadcast.
This would smash the previous record of 3.5 billion, which reportedly saw boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
If their predictions are correct, the Queen’s state funeral would eclipse all other broadcast records – including the Live8 concerts in 2005, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks in 2010 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Carolina Beltramo, television analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, said: ‘Such is the love and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II around the world that her funeral is set to be the biggest live television event in history.
“Generations of people across the globe will not have been alive the last time pomp and pageantry on this scale was seen.
“Although it is a sad occasion, they can be forgiven for being captivated by a spectacle that reverberates through history. For that reason alone, they will be drawn to see the dawn of this new era in their billions.
‘No fewer than 4.1 billion people are expected to tune in on Monday to watch this historic moment when half the people on planet Earth pause to pay their respects.
“Thanks to advances in technology that mean most of us now carry TVs around in our pockets, ratings 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, an estimated 2.5 billion people watched the service for Diana, Princess of Wales, 25 years ago, with 31 million Britons tuning in.’
The pallbearer team of eight Grenadier Guards walked up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by members of the Royal Family
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II carried by the real pallbearers leaving the state funeral at Westminster Abbey yesterday
A sea of people with flags and bunting lined the route into Windsor as Her Majesty made her final journey on Monday afternoon
Millions of mourners packed into Westminster and Buckingham Palace to attend the Queen’s funeral, with people flying from as far afield as the globe to be part of the commemoration.
And countless more lined the roads from London to Windsor, where Her Majesty was eventually laid to rest, with lines six or seven deep pictured during the Queen’s final 22-mile journey from Wellington Arch to St George’s Chapel, where she was laid to rest at 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, her funeral was always expected to attract a large number of viewers – with the total predicted to surpass the previous record opening of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, watched by 3.5 billion people .
More than 4,000 military personnel were involved in the Queen’s state funeral, which ended at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, pictured above
2010/11: More than 1.1 billion people watched Sydney’s epic New Year’s Eve fireworks display
1996: An estimated 3.5 billion people watched boxing icon Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch and open the Atlanta Games
1985: More than 1.9 billion watched the late Freddie Mercury wow the Wembley crowd for their iconic Live Aid show
The figure is believed to have eclipsed those who lined up to witness Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, which was watched by around a billion people
And on Tuesday, the government revealed that 250,000 people had queued to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in state inside Westminster Hall.
The momentous occasion was Britain’s first state funeral since wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill on 24 January 1965.
Queen Elizabeth II today 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 in Windsor and has chosen to be with her family following the “Us 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 a monarch.
It came after a highly symbolic and moving public moment in which the Queen’s crown, orb and scepter were removed from her coffin so she could enter her grave under St George’s Chapel Windsor ‘as a simple Christian soul’.
Her Majesty was carried by eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, who raised and lowered the Queen’s 500 pound lead-lined coffin no fewer than 10 times on its journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where she rests peacefully today