Platinum Jubilee pageant finale watched by peak audience of 8.7million

Platinum Jubilee pageant parade finale was watched by peak audience of 8.7MILLION, TV figures reveal – as viewers praise ‘VERY British’ and ‘wonderfully eccentric’ spectacle

  • TV viewers praised the BBC for putting on a ‘fantastic’ finale pageant on Sunday
  • It came after Party At The Palace concert brought 13.4million viewers Saturday
  • While ratings positive, other historic royal events achieved much higher figures

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant finale was watched by a staggering 8.7million people on Sunday, TV figures have revealed. 

While much of the country were nursing their Jubilee hangovers, huge swathes of royal fans still managed to tune in for the ‘very British’ and ‘wonderfully eccentric’ spectacle. 

Pomp and pageantry kicked off the finale of the four-day celebration of the Queen’s astonishing 70-year reign as a hologram of the young monarch waving at royal fans and a ceremonial military procession launched the 2½-hour pageant.

Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their children George, Charlotte and Louis, Princess Anne, and Zara and Mike Tindall are all seated in the royal box alongside Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan to watch the two-mile procession through central London.

It came after a star-studded Party At The Palace concert on Saturday night, which saw huge performances from Diana Ross, Sir Rod Stewart and Eurovision winner Sam Ryder.  

TV experts at told MailOnline that viewership of both Sunday’s pageant and Saturday’s Party At The Palace remained solid throughout their respective time slots – meaning once people tuned in, very few switched off. 

Lifesize characters, including the Teletubbies, Paddington Bear and Peppa Pig parade through central London as part of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant Finale on Sunday 

While much of the country were nursing their Jubilee hangovers on Sunday, huge swathes of royal fans – more than 8 million of them – still managed to tune in for the ‘very British’ and ‘wonderfully eccentric’ pageant finale

Michael Winsor and Anthea Turner ride a bus with Basil Brush during the Platinum Pageant

Crowds during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on day four of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Queen stands beside her son Prince Charles as she waves at adoring crowds on The Mall, June 5, 2022

The Queen, Prince Charles and the Cambridges appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony, June 5, 2022

Scores of social media users congratulated the BBC for ‘putting on a good show’. 

‘I loved it all,’ one wrote, ‘I wasn’t planning on spending the whole afternoon watching the pageant yesterday, but was hooked… well done to all involved.’ 

Another said the pageant was ‘exceptional’ while one fan declared: ‘No one does pageantry like the British… thank you for a job well done.’ 

How viewing figures from Platinum Jubilee compare to other historic royal moments 

Platinum Jubilee TV viewing figures: 

Platinum Jubilee Party At The Palace concert – 13.4million

Platinum Jubilee Finale Pageant – 8.7million

Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour – 7.5million 

Platinum Jubilee Lighting of the Beacons – 5million

TV viewing figures of historic royal moments:

Princess Diana’s funeral, 1997 – 32.1million

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding, 1981 – 28.4million

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips’ Wedding, 1973 – 27.6million

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, 1953 – 27million

Queen’s skit with James Bond in London 2012 opening ceremony – 26.9million

Prince William’s wedding, 2011 – 26million

Princess Diana’s 1996 interview with Martin Bashir – 23million

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s Wedding, 1986 – 19million 

Prince Harry wedding, 2018 – 18million

Prince Philip’s funeral, 2022 – 13million  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah Winfrey interview, 2021 – 12.4million 

Queen Mother’s funeral, 2002 – 10million

Others branded it ‘very British’ and ‘wonderfully eccentric.’ 

The concert on Saturday, meanwhile, was the most-watched programme of the year so far, drawing in a staggering 13.4 million viewers.

The star-studded extravaganza boasted an A-list line up, including Elton John. 

However it was the Queen who really brought the house down, when she was joined for a cream tea by Paddington Bear, in which she hilariously revealed she shares the Peruvian native’s love of marmalade sandwiches. 

However in terms of all time royal events, the Platinum Jubilee received much lower figures compared to other historic moments. 

The Queen’s skit with James Bond – played by Daniel Craig – at the London 2012 opening ceremony, for example, was watched by 26.9million people, while Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018 attracted 18million. 

Prince William’s wedding in 2011 had 26million viewers, although the advancement of streaming and catch up TV has meant lower TV ratings in general in recent years.  

Figures from across the weekend show the concert on Saturday night was the most watched Jubilee event, while the lighting of the beacons ceremony on Thursday night was the least, only managing a peak of five million viewers. 

Trooping the Colour performed marginally better, pulling in 7.5million. 

While the Queen was unable to attend Saturday’s concert in person due to her ongoing mobility issues, Prince William, 39, and Kate Middleton, 40, brought along their two eldest children as the rest of the Royal Family turned out in force. 

The glitzy affair, which also saw Queen and Adam Lambert perform, beat England’s clash with Hungary, which saw the national team lose 0-1 – with 4.5million viewers tuning it at its peak, and an average audience of just 2.7million.

Lee Mack and Stephen Fry also helped drive social media engagement thanks to their not-so-subtle digs at prime minister Boris Johnson.  

Speaking with the Prime Minister in attendance, who was in the royal box, Mack welcomed everyone to Buckingham Palace and describing it as the ‘party of a lifetime’.

He explained how lucky everyone was to be able to perform on stage in front of Buckingham Palace’s gates. Mack then quipped: ‘Finally we can say the words ‘party’ and ‘gate’ and it’s a positive.’

The joke earned cheers and laughs from the crowd. And it was followed later in the show by Stephen Fry, who praised the Queen for ‘tolerating Prime Ministers’.

The ex-QI host said: ‘As a nation, we have been lucky, lucky, lucky above all others to have had our Queen to represent us over 70 years of Trooping the Colour, royal tours, Christmas Day at three in the afternoon.

TV viewers heap praise on BBC’s coverage of Sunday’s Jubilee pageant and concert on Saturday night

‘How many local sewage works has our Majesty opened with a bright smile? How many plaques unveiled? How many trees planted, ribbons cut, ships launched? How many prime ministers tolerated – for that alone, no admiration is high enough.’

While Sunday’s pageant failed to match the concert in terms of viewing figures, it may have been due to the fact that up to 18 million people were estimated to have been taking part in the Big Lunch, according to the Duchess of Cornwall. 

The pageant was split into four acts: For Queen and Country with a military parade; The Time of Our Lives progressing through seven decades of culture, music and fashion; Let’s Celebrate telling the story of the Queen’s life in 12 chapters with corgi puppets and carnival creations; and the Happy and Glorious musical spectacle.

Close to 200 national treasures including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sandie Shaw, Felicity Kendal, Joe Wicks and Holly Willoughby joined pop sensation Ed Sheeran in a mass rendition of God Save The Queen outside Buckingham Palace at the end of the pageant.

Guardsmen, Gurkhas, Royal Marines and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in their breastplates and plumed feathers were among the hundreds of servicemen and women who led the way marching along the streets around Buckingham Palace.

Charles took the salute of various military units when they passed the royal box and he stood to acknowledge the servicemen and women as they passed. 

Some 10,000 people including a cast of 6,000 performers are involved in staging the carnival route from Horse Guards, along Whitehall to Admiralty Arch and down The Mall to Buckingham Palace, echoing Her Majesty’s 1953 coronation procession.

British eccentricity was soon to the fore when the cyclists on a menagerie of bikes rode past Buckingham Palace, including a biker dressed as the character Elliot from the sci-fi Movie ET, complete with the Extra Terrestrial in the cycle’s basket.

As the decades flashed by revellers in period 1940s clothes danced the Lambeth Walk and further down The Mall jiving performers represented the 1950s.

And after the outpouring of public affection during her balcony appearance, the Queen said she was ‘humbled and deeply touched’ so many people had taken part in celebrations marking her 70-year reign. 

Surrounded by her family, including Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George, Charlotte and Louis, she was cheered by thousands of well-wishers after stepping on to the balcony following the Platinum Pageant, which told the story of her life, and the nation, with an eccentric, fun and imaginative carnival-like display. 

Smiling as she acknowledged the spectators, she looked down on The Mall where tens of thousands had waited in hope of seeing her. 

The Queen said later in her message: ‘When it comes to how to mark seventy years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee. 

‘While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family. 

The Queen delighted millions of viewers by appearing in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear to kick-start the Jubilee concert. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear having cream tea and a marmalade at Buckingham Palace

Singer Sam Ryder, who came second in the Eurovision contest, wore a Union Jack jumpsuit as he sang ‘Spaceman’ to cheers from the crowd.

Sir Rod Stewart, wearing a yellow suit, sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ as the joyous crowd waved their flags and cheered

Adam Lambert, center, from the band Queen performs with the Royal Marine drummers at the Platinum Jubilee concert

‘I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come. 

‘I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations.’ 

The Queen had not been seen since she made two balcony appearances on the first day of the Jubilee celebrations, when Trooping the Colour was held, and the Duchess of Cambridge later said she had found the day enjoyable but tiring. 

But the Queen looked at ease on the balcony as the celebrations drew to a close, leaning on a walking stick, now a routine aid following her mobility issues, and acknowledging the crowds with a wave. 

The Prince of Wales stood with the Queen along with the Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

After the national anthem was sung by a choir of celebrities including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw and Felicity Kendal, the Queen waved again at well-wishers and was joined by her great-grandchildren, with Louis waving with both hands. 

The royal family had planned to see a display by the Red Arrows from their balcony vantage point, but it was called off due to the low clouds which had threatened rain all day. 

Earlier in the day Charles had expressed the same sentiment as the Queen when he spoke about the camaraderie the Jubilee events had fostered. 

He told revellers at The Big Lunch’s flagship event in London, which he attended with Camilla, that he hoped ‘bickering’ did not return after the feeling of ‘togetherness’ across the nation.

Princess Eugenie described the Jubilee Pageant as ‘incredible’, writing on her Instagram: ‘The Platinum Jubilee Pageant was just incredible. To all the people that took part, organised it, made it flawless for us all watching, Thank you. You made us all so proud.’

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