How many people watched the Queen’s funeral? BBC and ITV release figures for UK households

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Provisional figures shows that the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most-watched broadcasts in British history

The BBC and ITV are among those which have revealed the provisional viewing figures for the Queen’s funeral.

The broadcast of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was simucast across most major UK television channels on the morning of Monday 19 September. As a result, it has unsurprisingly ranked as one of the most watched moments in UK television history.

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But just how many people watched - and how does it compare to other popular broadcasts? Here’s everything you need to know.

More than 26 million people watched the live television broadcast of the Queen’s funeral in the UK. (Credit: Getty Images)More than 26 million people watched the live television broadcast of the Queen’s funeral in the UK. (Credit: Getty Images)
More than 26 million people watched the live television broadcast of the Queen’s funeral in the UK. (Credit: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

How many people wathed the Queen’s funeral?

Overnight viewing figures released by Barb, a television research organisation, show that around 26.2 million people watched across all channels. Channels showing the broadcast included BBC One and Two, ITV, Sky and Channel 4.

The 26.2 million views does not include online streaming and only covers the average amount of traditional television viewers during the broadcasting period. More detailed figures will be released next week which does including streaming and online viewers.

The BBC said that the funeral has been streamed across their online platforms 25 million times, with a peak of 32.5 million households tuning in on television.

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Channel 5 hit the headlines after breaking away from the pack and deciding to screen The Emoji Movie instead - a move which has been applauded by many for offering children’s programming during the service. The film received a peak of 145,000 viewers at the time of the funeral.

How does the Queen’s funeral rank in viewing figures?

With 26.2 million households viewing the Queen’s funeral on television, it officially ranks in the all time list for the most watched broadcasts in the UK. However, provisional figures show that it may not have been as popular to watch live on television than the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

The top ten includes:

  1. World Cup Final: England v Germany, 1966 - 32.2m
  2. Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997 - 32.1m
  3. Royal Family (documentary special), 1969 - 30.69m
  4. UEFA Euro Final: England v Italy, 2021 - 29.95m
  5. Apollo 13 Splashdown, 1970 - 28.6m
  6. Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, 1981 - 28.4m
  7. Wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, 1973 - 27.6m
  8. Muhammad Ali v Joe Fraiser II, 1970 - 27.5m
  9. Boris Johnson’s statement on Covid-19, 2020 - 27.1m
  10. State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, 2022 - 26.2m

The viewing figures for the state funeral of the Queen is expected to increase once online streams are included in the numbers. The viewing figures stated above are also only details of the audience who access television broadcasts within the UK.

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