Queen's funeral was watched by average 26.2million

Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey was watched by average audience of 26.2million across all TV

  • The figures are based on a range of British networks including BBC, ITV and Sky 
  • It is estimated 4.1billion globally watched the footage of the Queen’s funeral 
  • This is more than Live Aid 1985 and Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

The Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey had an average TV audience of more than 26million people across a range of British networks. 

Her Majesty’s send-off on Monday followed her record 70 years as the Commonwealth’s head of state and was broadcast simultaneously on a range of networks, including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV along with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; and Sky News and Sky Sports. 

Overnight figures released by the research organisation Barb suggest 26.2million watched her memorial service in Westminster Abbey in Britain. 

But this does not take into account streaming and the millions who watched from pubs and screens set up in public spaces throughout the country so the final number could be higher. 

Recently, the England v Italy UEFA Euro 2020 final in July 2021 had 29.85million viewers and Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown statement on 23 March 2020 had 27.1million watchers.

The funeral of Princess Diana, when most people watched events on a TV set, had an audience of 32.1million. 

Even without taking into account the viewers who watched Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on iPlayer or other streaming services in the UK, it would still make it the 10th most watched event in British history. 

It is also thought that 4.1billion globally 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 the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top of it carried by pallbearers as it departs Westminster Abbey

The Grenadier Guards seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin yesterday, moving it safely to each point in the funeral and procession 

Across the over 50 channels who broadcast the service, 20 million people watched on BBC One when the audience peak at 12.25pm, as her coffin made its way out of Westminster Abbey.

Ahead of the milestone occasion, Industry experts had predicted a staggering 4.1billion viewers were expected to tune to the broadcast.

This would smash the previous record of 3.5 billion who reportedly watched boxing great Muhammad Ali open the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

If their predictions are correct, the Queen’s state funeral would eclipse all other broadcasting records – including the Live8 concerts in 2005, Sydney’s New Year Eve firework celebrations 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 biggest live TV event in history.

‘Generations of people across the globe won’t have been alive the last time pomp and pageantry were seen on this scale.

‘While it’s a sad occasion, they can be forgiven for being enthralled by a spectacle that echoes throughout history. For that reason alone they’ll be drawn to witness the dawn of this new age in their billions.

‘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.

‘Thanks to advances in technology, which mean most of us now carry TVs around in our pockets, audience 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, an estimated 2.5 billion people watched the service for Diana, Princess of Wales, 25 years ago, with 31 million Brits tuning in.’

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by the right pallbearers leaving the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey yesterday

A sea of people, holding 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 witness the Queen’s funeral, with people flying from the far reaches of the globe to be a part of the commemorations.

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 alongside 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 huge numbers of viewers – with the total number predicted to outstrip the previous record-breaking opening of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, viewed 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 Eve firework celebrations

1996: An estimated 3.5 billion people watched boxing icon Muhammad Ali light the Olympic beacon and open the Atlanta Games

1985: More than 1.9 billion watched the late Freddie Mercury stun the Wembley crowd for their iconic Live Aid show 

The number is thought to have eclipsed those who tuned in to witness the marriage of Princess Diana to Prince Charles in 1981, which was viewed by about a billion people

And on Tuesday, the government revealed that a whooping 250,000 had queued to pay their respects to the Queen while she was lying in state inside Westminster Hall.

The momentous occasion was Britain’s first state funeral since that of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in January 24, 1965.

Queen Elizabeth II today lies at 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 has chosen to be with her family following the ‘Us Four’ principle pursued by her father George VI.

He told his daughter repeatedly that following the abdication of his brother, 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 sceptre were removed from her coffin so she could descend into her grave below 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 put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where she lies peacefully today

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