Prince Philip’s funeral: How many people watched the Duke of Edinburgh’s ceremony?

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The Royal Family united to pay a fond and emotional farewell to Prince Philip, who was laid to rest at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel on Saturday 17 April.

The ceremony allowed the public to watch and was broadcast on ITV and BBC, and tributes flooded in from people around the world.

As she bid a final farewell to her husband Prince Philip, The Queen reportedly left a handwritten note on the top of The Duke’s coffin.

Her Majesty, who chose the flowers for the funeral wreath, put the note which said “in loving memory” next to the wreath.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard
(Image: 2021 Getty Images)

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How many people watched Prince Philip’s funeral?

The funeral of Prince Philip is believed to have been watched by an audience of more than 13 million people.

BBC journalist Lizo Mzimba reported that the BBC had 10.6 million viewers, while ITV had 2.14 million.

Sky had 0.05 million viewers tuning into the royal coverage.

The funeral of Prince Philip is believed to have been watched by an audience of more than 13 million people
The funeral of Prince Philip is believed to have been watched by an audience of more than 13 million people

In comparison, the Queen mother’s funeral was watched by 10.4 million viewers in 2002, and Diana’s, in 1997, was watched by around 32 million people.

The BBC reportedly received 100,000 complaints about its coverage of Prince Philip’s death.

The network altered its usual schedule on Friday 9 April to show tributes and special documentaries about the Duke of Edinburgh when the news of his death broke. The move meant programmes, including the MasterChef final, were pushed back, leaving many viewers disappointed.

The BBC’s coverage on both television and their radio channels has now become the most complained about event in British TV history.

Prince Philip has made a subtle tribute to Princess Diana with his choice of funeral music
Diana’s funeral in 1997 was watched by around 32 million people.
(Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The last time the broadcaster received a record-high of complaints was back in 2005, when 63,000 annoyed viewers moaned about a screening of Jerry Springer: The Musical.

While it appears the Beeb left some viewers displeased with their wall-to-wall coverage, Channel 4 faced a backlash from Royal fans after failing to alter their schedule for the day in light of Prince Philip’s death at the age of 99.

Contrary to the BBC, Channel 4 continued airing regular content such as Come Dine With Me.

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The BBC’s coverage on both television and their radio channels has now become the most complained about event in British TV history
(Image: Getty Images)

Clearly upset by the decision, fierce fans flocked to social media platform Twitter to blast the network, calling it “insensitive”.

One person wrote: “Channel 4 is disgusting and insensitive, they have carried on with their usual programming ‘Find It, Fix It, Flog It’ instead of running segments on the death of Prince Philip like the other major broadcasters. It’s unbecoming of Channel 4 and a national broadcaster.”

Another shocked viewer said: “BBC and ITV both interrupt the current programme to announce the news of Prince Philip’s passing. Meanwhile on Channel 4 Couples Come Dine with Me is on like nothing’s happened.”





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