Almost 13 million Britons tuned in to watch Prince Philip’s funeral – more than the figure for Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
The BBC’s live coverage – fronted by Huw Edwards – had 11.4 million viewers at its peak, with an average of 6.6 million.
The corporation’s peak viewers figure was nearly ten-times what ITV pulled in, with its peak standing at 1.2 million.
Harry and Meghan’s tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview – in which they accused the Royal Family of institutional racism – pulled in 12.4 million at its peak when it aired in the UK.
ITV’s coverage of yesterday’s funeral was co-hosted by Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham. Prince William recently ended his long-standing friendship with Bradby because of his concerns he sided with Prince Harry.
Almost 13 million people tuned in to watch Prince Philip’s funeral (pictured) on BBC and ITV – more than the figure for Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview
The BBC’s live coverage – fronted by Huw Edwards (left)- had 11.4 million viewers at its peak, with an average of 6.6 million. The coorporation’s peak viewers figure was ten-times what ITV pulled in, with its peak standing at 1.2 million.
Harry and Meghan’s tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview (pictured) – in which they accused the Royal Family of institutional racism – pulled in 12.4 million at its peak when it aired in the UK
The BBC pulled in its biggest amount of viewers at 3.08pm (the broadcast at 3.08pm, pictured) – with ITV’s most views coming in one minute earlier at 3.07pm
Meanwhile, Bradby’s broadcast on ITV – Prince Philip, a Royal Funeral – began at 1.15pm. It hit its peak viewer figure at 3.07pm, when Prince Philip’s funeral was being brought into St George’s Chapel (pictured)
At 2.53pm – when the coffin was being transported in a Land Rover Defender designed by the prince – ITV had 10,015,400 viewers tuned in
ITV’s average figures was much lower than the BBC’s too, at just 851,300.
News reader Edwards took over the BBC’s sombre live broadcast titled The Funeral of HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, Bradby’s broadcast on ITV – Prince Philip, a Royal Funeral – began at 1.15pm.
The BBC pulled in its biggest amount of viewers at 3.08pm – with ITV’s most views coming in one minute earlier at 3.07pm.
This coincided with the start of the funeral, which began after a minute’s silence at 3pm.
While the BBC came out on top in the ratings war, the viewers yesterday criticised Edwards for talking over too much of the footage.
Prince Harry speaks to Prince William as they leave the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle yesterday afternoon
The Duke of Sussex is seen speaking to the Duke of Cambridge following the service at St George’s Chapel, in their first public appearance together since Megxit
Viewers rushed to social media to say they had ‘switched to ITV’ to watch the historic event due to Edwards’ ‘constant inane chatter’ over footage of the procession ahead of the official ceremony.
The Queen looked grief-stricken and bowed her head in reverence as she accompanied her beloved Philip’s coffin on its final journey.
Prior to Prince Philip’s coffin emerging from the State Entrance, Edwards provided background and context in a voice over from a studio in the grounds of Windsor.
Viewers rushed to Twitter to share their frustration at Edwards’ interjections, with Ruth Nguyen writing: ‘Poor coverage by the beeb.
‘Huw Edwards just kept talking throughout. Repetition, same coverage as all the other programmes.
‘ITV did a more sensitive and moving programme. Get a grip BBC.’
Meanwhile, Jackie Racher said she ‘switched to ITV coverage of the funeral’ because ‘Huw Edwards’ constant inane chatter was driving us crackers’.
Footage after the funeral captured what appeared to be a temporary thaw in the frosty relations between Princes William and Harry as the pair were seen chatting after the service.
It was more than a year since they were last seen in public together.
Only weeks have passed since the devastating Oprah Winfrey interview, which was said to have left William ‘incandescent’ with rage.
Despite this, he and Harry looked relaxed in each other’s company as they walked the short distance from St George’s Chapel back to Windsor Castle.
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, is carried on the purpose built Land Rover Defender followed by the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips, the Duke of Sussex, the Earl of Snowdon and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Snowdon David Armstrong-Jones, Peter Phillips, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence during the funeral of Prince Philip
It was the Duchess of Cambridge, ever the peacemaker, who smoothed the way for one of the most talked-about reconciliations in years.
As the Royals filed out of the chapel, Prince William spoke to the Right Reverend David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, while Harry chatted with Kate behind them.
Eschewing a waiting fleet of Rolls-Royces, the family then began to walk up the hill.
William was initially ahead of his wife and brother but turned back towards them to speak to Kate while Harry exchanged pleasantries with the Dean.
Harry then caught up with his brother and sister-in-law and they walked together for a while as William removed his face mask. Then, Kate delicately stepped away to speak to the Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise – leaving the brothers alone.
The apparent rapprochement was a welcome moment after a day of palpable tension. Earlier, the siblings had maintained stony expressions as they walked behind their grandfather’s cortege, separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.
The Duke of Cambridge strode ahead of his brother as they entered the 15th Century chapel, and once inside the atmosphere remained decidedly frosty.
William sat with Kate directly opposite Harry but did not appear to make eye contact, instead preferring to focus his gaze towards his grandfather’s coffin.
Members of the Royal Family walk behind the Land Rover hearse carrying Prince Philip’s coffin
Pallbearers of the Royal Marines carry the coffin at the West Steps of St George’s Chapel
Members of the Royal family march behind the coffin during the ceremonial funeral procession of Prince Philip
Sources told The Mail on Sunday that Harry has experienced ‘a great deal of frostiness’ from many of his relatives since arriving in Britain a week ago and self- isolating at Frogmore Cottage, the house given to him and Meghan as a wedding present by the Queen. ‘Ironically the only one who has expressed any sympathy towards him is Prince Andrew,’ said one source.
‘He knows from Sarah Ferguson – and now first-hand – how it feels to be the outsider, which Harry very much is.
‘As far as the others are concerned, there is a deep sense of protection towards the Queen and resentment towards Harry. There is little sympathy for him after what he and Meghan said on Oprah.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the Royals of institutional racism during the bombshell 90-minute interview last month and claimed one member of the family – not the Queen or Prince Philip – questioned what colour their son Archie’s skin would be.
Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie failed to acknowledge Harry before or during yesterday’s service.
‘They are still very upset,’ the source added. ‘They are putting on a united front for the Queen. They all think he has behaved appallingly.’