The Queen’s funeral had fewer viewers than Princess Diana’s despite initial estimates

Aisha Nozari

Published 
| Last updated 

The Queen’s funeral had fewer viewers than Princess Diana’s despite initial estimates

Featured Image Credit: Paul Brown/jeremy sutton-hibbert/Alamy Stock Photo

It was predicted that the Queen’s funeral might be the most-watched broadcast in British television history. But in actual fact, Her Majesty’s funeral on Monday (19 September) drew in less viewers than Diana’s in 1997.

The viewing figures for this week’s ceremony will likely come as a shock to some, seeing as the late monarch’s funeral was billed as being a record-obliterating event - although it did draw in more spectators than 2020’s Euros final, if that’s any consolation. 

It was predicted that the Queen’s funeral might be the most-watched broadcast in British television history. Credit: PA
It was predicted that the Queen’s funeral might be the most-watched broadcast in British television history. Credit: PA

According to the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), more than 26 million people watched Queen Elizabeth II's funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

In the US, around 11.4 million tuned in, which is significantly lower than the 33.2 million who watched Princess Diana’s service in the nineties. 

There wasn’t quite as much of a discrepancy here in the UK, with nearly 27 million people watching this week’s ceremony, and 32 million tuning into Princess Diana’s 25 years ago. 

Meanwhile, the Euro 2020 football championship final in July 2021 racked up a viewership of 22.5 million.

Some were still floored by the colossal number of people who watched the Queen’s funeral this week, with one person writing beneath BARB’s figures: “Gosh, mega figure. I wonder when was the last time to get viewing figures like that for one program being viewed. Maybe Morecambe and Wise Christmas special or something?”

“Wow!” added another, with a third writing: “Huge figures.”

Less thrilled, another person quipped: “Not like we had much of a choice to watch anything else was it? It was basically a choice of the funeral or finding something to watch on Netflix at 11am. Sky sports were showing the funeral, that's how insane Monday was.”

Someone else echoed: “That’s a lot of people *not* watching it, considering society went out of its way to attempt to force people to watch it.”

Diana’s funeral was the most-watched royal TV spectacle since records began in 1981, although the official most-watched TV event was back in 1966 when 32.3 million people tuned into the FIFA World Cup Final of England v West Germany.

A more recent viewership milestone was recorded on 23 March 2020, when Boris Johnson delivered his Covid-19 lockdown statement, formally confirming the UK was in the midst of a pandemic.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Royal Family, The Queen, Film and TV

Aisha Nozari
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Music

Ringo Starr forced to cancel shows after falling ill

15 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Gwen Stefani explains why she doesn't appear to age

13 hours ago