Sunday 16 June 2019

TV ratings for Harry and Meghan's wedding a third lower than William and Kate's

A combined audience of 11.5 million watched the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tie the knot in the UK

Harry and Meghan leave St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding (PA)
Harry and Meghan leave St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding (PA)

By Ian Jones, Press Association

Ratings for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex were a third lower than those for the marriage of Harry’s brother William, new figures show.

A combined audience of 11.5 million people watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot on May 19 this year – 8.9 million on BBC One and 2.6 million on ITV.

But 17.6 million tuned in for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011: 13.6 million on BBC One plus 4.0 million on ITV.  In Ireland, The Royal Wedding on RTÉ One had an average audience of 141,000.

It means the combined UK audience for Harry’s wedding was 35% down on the equivalent figure for his brother.

Harry also failed to pull in as many viewers as his uncle Prince Edward, whose wedding in June 1999 to Sophie, Countess of Wessex enjoyed a combined BBC One/ITV audience of 14.8 million.


The new figures – published by Barb – are consolidated ratings, and include those who recorded the wedding and watched it up to seven days later.

Royal weddings have a history of being one of the most-viewed TV events of the year, but 2018 may turn out to be different.

Harry and Meghan’s ratings of 11.5 million could be beaten next month by audiences for England’s matches in the World Cup.

And in the autumn, ratings of over 12 million are likely for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

The biggest ever UK TV audience for a royal wedding was recorded in July 1981, when an estimated 28 million watched Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer.

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