This is the most watched Royal Wedding of all time

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on 19th May certainly captured the attention of the world, with stories of the big day dominating the news across the globe.

And in fact, it's recently been revealed that a huge 11.5 million viewers across the world tuned in to watch the beautiful ceremony, as Meghan and Harry became husband and wife.

But actually, despite the global attention the nuptials received, the occasion was only the fifth most-watched royal wedding of all time.The figures have been collected by the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board (Barb), and include viewings from people who recorded the wedding and watched it up to seven days later.

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex

It turns out that the wedding of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, actually, surprisingly drew in more viewers than the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nuptials, putting the couple in forth place. Their June 1999 ceremony, also at St. George's Chapel, attracted a combined audience of 14.8 million, a huge 3 million more.

Sophie and Edward's wedding, which was widely a family occasion, was also awaited excitedly by thousands of members of the public, who had gathered outside of Windsor Castle - much like at Harry and Meghan's.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton

In third place was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding, in 2011. Catherine and William's nuptials were witnessed by 17.6 million - meaning Harry's wedding was watched by 35% less people than his brother's.

Photo of the Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

Of course, unlike Harry and Meghan's wedding, Catherine and William's big day was a huge state occasion. Approximately 1,900 people attended the service in the abbey, with guests including Commonwealth leaders, prime ministers, and other heads of government.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex however had no state attendees. Meghan and Harry issued a statement revealing that only people who knew them personally would be attending their wedding - meaning UK Prime Minister Theresa May did not receive an invite.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

Coming in at a close second is Prince Andrew's wedding to Sarah Ferguson. The now-divorced couple married in 1986, also at Westminster Abbey - and the big day was watched by a massive 18.7 million viewers, according to Barb.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

So whose royal wedding was the most-watched? Unsurprisingly, it was Prince Charles' wedding to Princess Diana in 1981 which garnered the most attention, according to Joint Industry Committee for Television Audience Research (Jictar). The grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey drew in a huge 28.4 million viewers - which perhaps makes sense, given that Prince Charles is the future King.

Were you surprised by the result?

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.