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Queen’s state funeral could be biggest TV event since Princess Diana’s service

No royal or sporting event since 1997 has been able to match such high ratings

Ellie Harrison
Monday 19 September 2022 08:17 BST
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'A real privilege': Last mourners leave Westminster Hall as lying-in-state ends

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is expected to be the biggest TV event since Princess Diana’s service 25 years ago.

The Queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey today (Monday 19 September) and will be followed by a national two-minute silence.

Some 2,000 people will attend the funeral, including leaders from around the world and the Queen’s great grandchildren Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, who will walk behind the Queen’s coffin with their parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The funeral of Princess Diana, who died aged 36 after a car crash in Paris in 1997, was watched by 31 million people in the UK. It has been estimated that the global viewership for that service was 2.5 billion.

No royal or sporting event since 1997 has been able to match such high ratings.

TV analyst at WatchTVAbroad.com, Carolina Beltramo, has claimed that as many as 4.1 billion – more than half the world’s population – could tune in to the Queen’s funeral.

She pointed to the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, when 3.6 billion people were estimated to have watched Muhammad Ali light the Olympic torch in 1996, as another huge TV event.

Beltramo said that audience figures are likely to eclipse both events, “thanks to advances in technology, which mean most of us now carry TVs around in our pockets”.

Princess Diana’s coffin being carried at her funeral in 1997

Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state has come to an end after four days, as the UK prepares to bid farewell to its monarch of 70 years.

Read about how to watch the Queen’s funeral here.

Follow the latest updates following the death of Queen Elizabeth II here

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