Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave as they leave Windsor Castle in a carriage after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel. Picture: Matt Dunham/AP

London - As the star of a hit TV show, Meghan Markle was used to pulling in top ratings.

But her Windsor wedding to Prince Harry on May 19 failed to beat the viewing figures for William and Kate’s big day.

An audience of 11.5 million watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot to become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - 8.9 million of them on BBC1. But 17.6 million tuned in for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011, with 13.6 million of those watching BBC1.

It means the combined audience for Meghan’s big day was 35 percent down.

Harry also failed to pull in as many viewers as his uncle Prince Edward, whose wedding in June 1999 to the-then Sophie Rhys-Jones enjoyed a combined audience of 14.8 million. The latest 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 among the most-viewed TV events of the year, but 2018 may turn out to be different. Harry and Meghan’s ratings could be beaten next month by England’s matches in the World Cup. 

Not surprisingly, the biggest ever TV audience for a royal wedding was recorded in July 1981 when an estimated 28 million tuned in to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer.

Daily Mail