More than 26 million people in UK watch queen's funeral on television

Figures for those who viewed the service on tablets, PCs and smartphones will be released next week

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More than 26 million viewers in the UK watched the queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, one of the country’s biggest ever TV audiences, provisional figures show.

A range of channels, including BBC One and Two, ITV and Sky News, broadcast the service simultaneously between 11am and just after midday.

Overnight ratings released by research organisation Barb reveal an average of 26.2 million people watched across all channels.

The figure is not quite as high as the official ratings for the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales in September 1997.

This was seen by an average of 32.1 million viewers, including 19.3 million on BBC One and 11.7 million on ITV, and remains the highest audience for a television broadcast since comparable figures began in August 1981.

UK public watches Queen Elizabeth's funeral — in pictures

It is also lower than the combined audience of 28.2 million people who watched the televised address by former prime minister Boris Johnson in March 2020, when he announced the first Covid-19 lockdown.

But it is large enough to rank as one of the biggest TV audiences of modern times.

Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — in pictures

The ratings are higher than those for the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which had 24.2 million and 24.5 million viewers respectively on BBC One, and the final of the euro 2020 football championship in July 2021, which attracted a combined total of 22.5 million on BBC One and ITV.

The figure of 26.2 million is a provisional measure of the television audience and does not include those who watched the funeral service on other devices.

Key moments of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral — video

Official ratings for the funeral will be published by Barb next week and will include data for people who viewed the service on tablets, PCs and smartphones.

Updated: September 20, 2022, 9:59 PM