How many people watched the Queen’s funeral? Fact check


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The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place on September 19 and was the first state funeral held since Sir Winston Churchill’s death in 1965. The Queen’s father King George VI’s funeral was also broadcast back in 1952. Previously, Royal Family events have brought in big audiences with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018 attracting an estimated 1.9billion globally, while Prince William and Catherine’s wedding in 2011 saw 162million watching, according to Statista.

How many people watched the Queen’s funeral?

Figures are now coming for the numbers who watched the Queen’s funeral on television.

The BBC sent figures to, confiming the majority of the UK public watched its coverage of The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II with a peak of 22.4million across all BBC channels.

However, these figures don’t include those watching live, on mobile devices, or on catch-up, which means the figures could well be higher when consolidated.

While ITV’s seen by figures show an average of 3.5million viewers watched the funeral between 9.30am and 6pm with a peak of 5.4million.

Previously, according to estimates from, 33million people watched the funeral in the UK on the BBC and other channels.

Also, prior to the official numbers, Deadline reported around 37.5million UK viewers watched the funeral specifically, with 27 million tuning in for the procession.

The figures were from BBC, ITV and Sky viewers and it marks the biggest audience for a UK TV broadcast in history.

Recently, it was reported only 11.4million people in America watched the Queen’s funeral according to figures from Nielsen via the LA Times.

Interestingly, the outlet goes on to note 33.2million watched Princess Diana’s funeral back in 1997. However, the advent of streaming means many people watched the funeral on other sources not accounted for by Nielsen and so this figure it likely to be higher.

In Australia, the peak audience for the funeral was 3.46million across the local free networks Seven, Nine, 10 Bold, SBS, ABC and ABC News.

READ MORE: Royal insider explain what it was really like to be at Queen’s funeral

A total of 9.9million streamed the Queen’s funeral via BBC News’ YouTube channel.

While unofficial The Royal Family channel, which isn’t the official YouTube channel for the Royal Family, brought in 6million viewers for its video of the funeral.

Given there was a myriad of broadcasters across the world live streaming the funeral through their YouTube channels, these figures are only a small glimpse of the true viewing figures.

American networks NBC News NOW, CBS News, and ABC News also live streamed the ceremony via their YouTube channels.

Prior to the funeral, it was predicted 4billion people would be tuning in globally to watch the ceremony.

READ MORE: Fans pay final tributes as Queen’s ledger stone unveiled

“No fewer than 4.1 billion people are expected to tune in on Monday to witness this historic moment as half the people on planet Earth pause to pay their respects,” TV analyst Carolina Beltramo for WatchTVAbroad told Wired.

The expert went on to cite technology as being a big driver in viewing figures.

Compared to Princess Diana’s death in 1997, viewers can now live stream events on portable devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets, which means there are less restrictions

on how people were able to watch the funeral and a television is no longer required.

The prevalence of broadband and widely available internet also factor into the viewing figures being much higher than for other similar events in the past.

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