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More than 29m people in UK watched Queen’s funeral, TV data shows

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theguardian.com

The Queen’s funeral service in Westminster Abbey was watched by 29.2 million people on television in the UK, according to official audience data.Despite the enormous interest, the commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II did not meet predictions of becoming the most-watched broadcast in British television history.

Less than half the UK population watched the live television broadcast – fewer than the 31 million who watched the climax of England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.BBC One’s coverage of Monday’s commemoration events peaked at 19.5 million viewers, BBC Two hit 2 million for its sign language coverage, ITV hit 5.3 million viewers, and Sky News attracted a maximum of 934,000 people.

All the channels were offering the same core footage but with different experts and presenters.The service was also simulcast on dozens of other television channels, which created some unusual juxtapositions.

About 170,000 people paid their respects to the Queen by watching her funeral on Sky Sports Main Event – usually the home of live Premier League football.Channel 5’s decision to show children’s films instead of the funeral resulted in 145,000 people watching The Emoji Movie rather than the Westminster Abbey service.Television viewing figures are always estimates and exclude the growing number of people who watch major live events through streaming services such as YouTube or the BBC’s iPlayer – or on their mobile phones.

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