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14th Sep 2022

Queen’s funeral expected to become most watched broadcast of all time with 4.1 billion viewers

Steve Hopkins

Half the people on the planet are expected to watch the state funeral

The Queen’s funeral is predicted to become the most watched global broadcast in history with 4.1 billion people expected to tune in to Monday’s state funeral.

The late monarch will be laid to rest at London’s Westminster Abbey, after passing away peacefully on September 8, at Balmoral.

The funeral will air on BBC One, BBC News, and BBC iPlayer, while ITV will air the event live and uninterrupted on its main channel and simultaneously on all of its digital channels. An international audience of millions is also expected to tune into the historic moment.

Carolina Beltramo, TV analyst at, told Metro: “Such is the love and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II around the world that her funeral is destined to be the biggest live TV event in history.”

Beltramo added: “Generations of people across the globe won’t have been alive the last time pomp and pageantry were seen on this scale. While it’s a sad occasion, they can be forgiven for being enthralled by a spectacle that echoes throughout history. For that reason alone they’ll be drawn to witness the dawn of this new age in their billions.”

She predicted “no fewer” than 4.1bn people will watch the funeral, “as half the people on planet Earth pause to pay their respects.”

Monday is a national bank holiday and businesses across the UK have announced they will either be closed or operating under reduced hours, including McDonald’s. Heathrow airport cancelled flights on Wednesday and hinted more are likely to be put off on Monday.

The coffin carrying the Queen will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral on Monday morning.

Senior members of the family are expected to follow behind – as they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh – and the military will also join in, and line the streets.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000. Early reports suggested 500 foreign dignitaries had been invited.

The coffin will then be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, before travelling to Windsor.

The procession will then continue to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, after which a televised committal service will take place in St George’s Chapel.

Later Monday, a private interment service will take place, attended by senior members of the royal family.

LThe Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

The late Prince Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

Details of the Queen’s funeral service can be found here.

The most watched TV broadcasts of all-time

  • Live 8 in 2005 – 2billion
  • Live Aid in 1985 – 1.9billion
  • CCTV New Year’s Gala in 2019 – 1.1billion
  • Sydney New Year’s Eve 2010–2011 in 2010 – 1.1billion
  • Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 191 – 1billion
  • First inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009 – 1billion
  • The Wall – Live in Berlin in 1990 – 1billion
  • Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011 – 1billion
  • Munich massacre in 1972 – 900million
  • The moon landing in 1969 – 652million
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 – 600million
  • Summer Olympics opening ceremony in 2008  – 593million

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