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Official TV figures show more people watched Princess Diana's funeral than Queen Elizabeth II's

Stewart Perrie

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Official TV figures show more people watched Princess Diana's funeral than Queen Elizabeth II's

Official TV figures have revealed more people watched Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 than Queen Elizabeth II's.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) said an average of 26.2 million people in the UK turned on the telly to watch the Monarch be laid to rest on Monday (September 19), according to London World.

That includes broadcasts on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and others.

While that's an impressive number, it doesn't eclipse the viewership record set by the late Princess Diana 25 years ago.

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Credit: David Cole / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: David Cole / Alamy Stock Photo

It was the most watched Royal TV spectacle since records began in 1981, with 32.1 million tuning in to farewell the former Princess of Wales.

The official most watched TV event was back in 1966 when 32.3 million people watched the FIFA World Cup Final of England v West Germany, according to the MailOnline.

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral TV broadcast viewership numbers failed to beat other modern British moments.

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A whopping 27.1 million people tuned into see Boris Johnson's Covid-19 lockdown statement on 23 March 2020 when the pandemic was being formally confirmed.

The UEFA Euro 2020 final between England and Italy last year in July also managed to attract 29.95 million viewers.

The former Monarch's TV broadcast did eclipse the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, which had 24.2 million and 24.5 million respectively on BBC One.

However, there's a twist in the TV viewership comparison between Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana.

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King Charles III at the casket of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Credit:  PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
King Charles III at the casket of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The Daily Mail said the BBC also recorded millions of viewers on their iPlayer.

A spokesperson for the corporation said, (via iNews): A spokesperson said: “The majority of the UK public – 32.5 million – turned to BBC coverage of the state funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II."

"Her Majesty the Queen lying in state was streamed 25 million times across BBC online.”

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The 26.2 million also doesn't take into account the amount of people who watched Monday's (September 19) funeral procession from the pub or in a public place where large TVs were erected.

Princess Diana's funeral came at a time where the predominant form of watching something was on the television. However, nowadays there are so many different methods to watch something.

BARB is expected to release more figures next week, according to the MailOnline, that will take into account the other ways people watched the Queen's funeral.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo. David Levenson / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: The Queen, TV and Film

Stewart Perrie
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