Great Britain

Almost 14 million UK viewers tuned in to watch Prince Philip’s funeral – 1 MILLION more than Harry & Meghan’s Oprah chat

ALMOST 14 million people watched Prince Philip's funeral on the BBC, ITV and Sky - one million more than tuned in for Harry and Meghan's chat with Oprah Winfrey.

The Beeb's live coverage, fronted by veteran newsreader Huw Edwards, pulled in more than 11 million viewers at its peak which was five times that of ITV.

🔵 Read our Prince Philip funeral live blog for the latest updates

ITV's peak viewing figures topped 2.1 million during Saturday afternoon's sombre ceremony which was less than a third of the BBC's average viewing figures stats of  6.6 million, reports the Press Association.

The one-hour service, between 3pm and 4pm, was also viewed by 450,000 on Sky, BBC News reported, citing figures from the official Barb overnight averages for the hour-long time slot.

However, Harry and Meghan's tell-all interview with Oprah only attracted 12.4 million viewers at its peak when it was screened on this side of the Atlantic.

The BBC devoted almost four hours to the event and viewing peaked just after 3pm, as the ceremony started, the BBC said.

The coverage began at 12.30pm as Edwards was joined by guests including Sir David Attenborough, Gyles Brandreth and Alan Titchmarsh to share memories of the late duke, who died on April 9 at the age of 99.

Edwards concluded the coverage at 4.15pm, reflecting on a "deeply moving service," including "a very dignified and sharp and stylish military procession which symbolised all that was vital and salient in the long life of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh".

He added: "He now rests in peace in the royal vault beneath St George's Chapel, having fought the good fight, having finished the race, and having kept the faith."

Ahead of the event, Edwards wrote in the Spectator: "In four hours of live broadcasting, watched by an audience of millions, the focus is on accuracy and tone.

"Most of the people doling out advice online have - predictably - never been entrusted with such a duty. But thanks anyway."

The corporation received 110,000 complaints about its coverage of Philip's death, after it cleared its schedules and put mirrored coverage on BBC One, BBC Two and the news channel.

BBC Two did not air coverage of the funeral, instead showing the Snooker World Championship. The funeral was shown on the BBC News Channel.

ITV committed just over three hours to the funeral, anchored by Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham and featuring guests including Philip's goddaughter India Hicks.

Channel 4 showed episodes of reality show Four In A Bed, while Channel 5 aired the film A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger.

During the Oprah interview, Prince Harry said his relationship with his brother was “space” and claimed his family were “trapped” by their royal duties.

Meghan also claimed an unnamed royal had raised “concerns” about the skin colour of her and Harry’s children and alleged the Palace had denied her mental health support.

The Duke of Cambridge later issued a candid response to the claims during a visit to a school in London, saying that the Royals were “very much not a racist family”. 

Prince Philip funeral - Prince Charles fights back tears as funeral procession arrives at St. George's Chapel

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