A new Coronation took place in the UK after that of Queen Elizabeth II seventy years ago: on Saturday, May 6, 2023, former Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom under the eyes of a global audience.
The historic event, broadcast live on several TV networks across the world for the entire duration of the ceremony (from 10:50 a.m. to 15:37 p.m. CEST), managed to gather massive ratings on British channels.
In the UK, the King’s Coronation was watched by a total of 18.8 million viewers, while viewing peaked at 20.4 million. These numbers do not consider the people who followed the ceremony in public spaces, such as pubs or parks, and they also do not include those who streamed the event on OTT services, including YouTube, iPlayer, and the BBC’s streaming platform.
Breaking down the figures, BBC One achieved a peak of 13.4 million viewers, while having an average audience of 11.9 million overall. BBC2’s sign language coverage of the event peaked at 1.7 million viewers. ITV reached an average audience of 3.3 million viewers on ITV1 between 11:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. CEST. Sky News averaged 568,000 viewers during its coverage of the Coronation ceremony, while GB News had an average of 176,000 and Talk TV averaged 14,000 viewers on its channel.
But not every British network broadcast the event: Channel 4 aired spy action comedy movie Johnny English Strikes Again, with an average of 138,000 people, while Channel 5 focused on children entertainment, broadcasting The Adventures of Paddington Bear and SpongeBob SquarePants.
The total ratings of the King’s Coronation do not come remotely close to the average 26.5 million viewers (and 28 million peak) for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last September, nor do they compare to the ratings of the funeral service held for Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, which was seen by an average audience of 31 million viewers on BBC and ITV, making it the highest TV audience ever recorded. However, the Coronation managed to beat Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year, which peaked at 13 million viewers for the Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC1.
In Italy, the event was followed live on several TV networks: Rai1 broadcast Speciale Tg1 – Incoronazione di Re Carlo III, commenting live the Coronation ceremony from start to finish – it attracted an average audience of 3.6 million viewers and a 31.1% average share. Meanwhile, Canale5 aired the special Verissimo in collaborazione con Tg5 presenta: L’Incoronazione di Carlo III, which tuned in at 10:45 a.m. up until 2:10 p.m., averaging 2.5 million viewers and a 23.2% share. Lastly, La7 aired Speciale TgLa7 – Il Giorno della Corona from 10:15 a.m. to 1:25 p.m., gathering 399,000 viewers and a 4.5% average share.