Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral watched by more than 13 million TV viewers

Around 11.3 million watched the service on the BBC, 2.1 million on ITV and 450,000 on Sky

Ella Glover
Sunday 18 April 2021 14:24
Prince Philip's coffin lowered into Royal Vault during final blessing

An average of 13.6 million viewers tuned in to watch Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday, according to official figures.

The BBC, which devoted almost four hours to the prince consort’s funeral, amassed some 11.3 million viewers during the one-hour slot, with views peaking just after 3pm as the ceremony started, according to overnight data from industry body, Barb.

Around 2.1 million viewers watched the one-hour service on ITV and around 450,000 on Sky, according to the figures, which were reported by the BBC.

For the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, a record-breaking 31 million people tuned in to watch the coverage. 

On Friday 9 April, the day of Prince Philip’s death, viewing figures for the BBC and ITV plummeted amid complaints there was too much coverage devoted to the news. 

The BBC received 110,000 complaints after it cleared its schedules and put mirrored coverage on BBC One, BBC Two and the news channel. This was the highest number of complaints ever published in the UK about television programming. 

BBC One drew an average of 2.41m viewers between 7pm and 11pm, where it broadcast a two-hour Prince Philip special, down six per cent than the prior Friday (2 April).

ITV numbers also plummeted to 1.34m viewers in the same time frame, a steep decline from the average of 3.39m viewers during the same time period on Friday 2 April.

BBC Two, Channel 4 and Channel 5 did not dedicate any coverage to the funeral on Saturday while ITV committed just over three hours to the service. 

Additional reporting by Press Association

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