Queen Elizabeth II's funeral watched by 26.2 million across the UK

ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger reports on the memories of the Queen's last chapter.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II drew one of the biggest British television audiences this century, with millions tuning in to watch the ceremony and her final journey to Windsor.

The average audience for the Queen's funeral service at Westminster Abbey was 26.2 million across all channels, according to provisional figures released by the research organisation Barb, Broadcasters'​ Audience Research Board.

The figure does not include streaming and the final figure could yet be higher.

Official ratings for the funeral will be published by Barb next week and will include data for people who viewed the service on tablets, PCs and smartphones.

The funeral - which began just before 11am as the Queen's coffin was taken from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on a Victorian gun carriage and ended with a service of committal at Windsor at 4pm - was aired across multiple channels.

The service was broadcast simultaneously on several networks, including BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News; ITV along with ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, and Sky News and Sky Sports.

A peak TV audience of 19.5m watched The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on BBC One with an average of 12.9m tuning in across the broadcast, the BBC said in a statement.

On ITV, 5.3 million tuned in to see the Queen laid to rest.

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaking during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The latest figure means that the Queen's funeral is the third most watched television event in the 21st century.

The England v Italy UEFA Euro 2020 final in July 2021 was watched by 29.85 million while 27.10 million tuned into for Boris Johnson's Covid-19 statement on 23 March 2020 as the country went into lockdown.

In contrast, the wedding of the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981 was watched by 28.40 million.

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know