The interview was watched by 11.1 million viewers, and hit a peak of 12.4 million.
The two-hour special was only beaten by Boris Johnson’s live 4 January speech on the latest lockdown schedule, which was watched by 15.6 million viewers.
The broadcaster also noted that 2.2 million of the show’s viewers came via their streaming platform ITV Hub.
The bombshell sit-down between the couple and Winfrey saw the pair discuss the experiences that led them to step down from official royal duties.
Markle revealed she had experienced racist remarks about her then-unborn child, and that she contemplated suicide due to media harassment in the wake of her marriage.
While the interview itself has been described as “devastating” and approaching “worst-case scenario territory” for Buckingham Palace, ITV has faced criticism for its response to dismissive statements by Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan that he “didn’t believe” many of Markle’s claims.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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