The Most-Viewed Televised Weddings of All Time

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Editorial credit: Hadrian /

Although sports events such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup are some of the most-television broadcasts in the world, other once-in-a-lifetime events have also attracted record viewership across the globe. A wedding is a popular social event loved and attended by many. However, royal weddings have a special attraction not only within the country but also around the world. Royal weddings are television spectaculars that fuel the fantasies surrounding the wedding industry. Giant media houses such as CNN and BBC often interrupt their normal programming to focus on these weddings. Here are the most-viewed televised weddings of all time:

Most-Viewed Televised Weddings

Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry, a member of the British Monarchy, wedded American actress Meghan Markel on May 19, 2018, at the Windsor Castle. This beautiful wedding ceremony captured the attention of about 1.9 billion people across the world, with the stories of the wedding dominating the news days before and after the ceremony. The huge viewership did not come as a surprise since the wedding was held on a weekend, a break from the royal tradition of having a wedding on a weekday. About 28 million people are reported to have watched the wedding ceremony in the UK and 29 million in the US. The ceremony was covered by CNN, BBC One, Sky News, ITV, and E!. It was also streamed online on YouTube.

Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer wedded on July 29, 1981, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Prince Charles was the heir to the throne while Diana was a member of the Spencer family. The marriage was considered the “wedding of the century” and was watched by close to one billion people around the world. Unlike Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, this wedding was attended by political leaders including most of Europe’s heads of states. First Lady Nancy Reagan represented the president of the US.

Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Catherine Middleton, wedded April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey. Prince William who is the first son of Prince Charles is the second in the line of succession. The nuptial of the two was witnessed by about one billion people around the world. The wedding was covered by CNN, ITV, and BBC and was also broadcasted via the internet and radio in over 180 countries. An estimated 24.5 million people in the UK watched the ceremony.

Wedding of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon

Princess Margaret, sister to Queen Elizabeth II, and Antony Armstrong-Jones wedded on May 6, 1960, at Westminster Abbey. Their wedding was the first royal wedding ceremony to be televised. Despite the public disapproval of the wedding on the basis of a commoner marrying into the royal family, the ceremony attracted the attention of over 300 million people around the globe.

Why Royal Weddings Are Popular?

A wedding in a royal family has always attracted a wider celebration and rejoicing. The ceremonies are always accompanied by splendor and pomp. A particular attraction is the bride’s gown and the dressing by the invited guests. Thanks to the mass and social media, these weddings are often hyped months before the ceremony.

The Most-Viewed Televised Weddings of All Time

1Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle1.9 Billion
2Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer1 Billion
3Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton1 Billion
4Wedding of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon300 Million

More in Society