An estimated 29.2 million people woke up early Saturday morning (May 19) to see TV actress Meghan Markle marry Britain’s Prince Harry, according to Nielsen.
The total topped the last royal wedding, when Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011. That event drew 22.8 million viewers.
Back when Princess Diana married Prince Charles, Nielsen only counted households. That 1981 wedding was watched in 14.2 million households on the three broadcast networks available. The latest royal wedding was seen in 23.7 million homes.
Nielsen’s total includes viewing between 7 a.m. and 8:15 am ET on ABC (inclusive of Freeform simulcast), BBC America, CBS, CNN, CNNe, E!, Fox News Channel, HLN, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, TLC and Univision.
Among the cable news networks, Fox News Channel’s coverage drew nearly 2 million total viewers, topping 1.92 million for CNN and 1.01 million for MSNBC. In the key news demo of adults 25-54, CNN was tops with 650,000 versus 416,000 for Fox News and 234,000 for MSNBC. CNN also led in young adults 18-34 with 125,000.
E! claimed its coverage of the royal wedding delivered 111 million total engagements across TV, digital and social platforms. It was E!’s biggest event of 2018 to date.