If you decided to revisit The Crown last week following the death of Queen Elizabeth, you weren’t alone: The first two seasons of Netflix’s Emmy-winning giant surged back into the streamer’s self-reported top-ten chart last week, both in the United States and around the world. By contrast, Her Royal Majesty’s state funeral wasn’t quite the ratings blockbuster in the U.S. some had expected.
On the fictionalized front, Netflix says season one of The Crown — featuring Claire Foy as the young royal — racked up just over 40 million hours of global viewing from September 12–18, not far behind the season-two premiere of Fate: The Winx Saga (49 million hours) and good enough for third place among all English-language TV series on the platform. Season two notched about 17 million viewing hours, ranking seventh on the Netflix chart. But while The Crown (unsurprisingly) did particularly well in the United Kingdom, its U.S. numbers weren’t nearly as impressive.
Per Netflix, the first two seasons of the Elizabethan drama finished as the U.K.’s No. 2 and No. 7 shows, respectively, with only Cobra Kai doing better than season one. But here in the former colonies, season two of The Crown didn’t make the top ten at all, while season one finished No. 7. Similarly, Netflix subscribers in India, who no doubt have some very mixed emotions about the late British monarch, were also less amped to revisit The Crown, with season one finishing at No. 8 for the week while the second season didn’t make the top ten at all. But you know which country’s populace apparently really dug Her Royal Majesty? Ukraine. The show’s first two seasons finished No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the war-torn country, while season three also broke into the top ten at No. 7. Maybe it just really appreciates all the help Britain has supplied during the battle with Russia?
Meanwhile, Monday’s royal funeral did solid numbers, but, at least in terms of linear viewing, wasn’t must-see TV (despite all the tweets). Nielsen estimates the full, roughly six-hour block from 6 a.m. through noon ET averaged about 11.4 million viewers across 13 networks. At the peak of the event coverage — around 11 a.m. ET for most platforms — the three cable-news networks drew fewer than 6 million combined viewers, with Fox News (2.4 million) edging out CNN (2.1 million) and MSNBC (around 1.1 million, including the 10 a.m. hour). On the broadcast side, NBC News led the networks with an average audience of just over 3 million viewers, edging out runner-up ABC News by about 3 percent.
By comparison, the queen’s funeral didn’t come close to matching the numbers of recent prime-time news events such as last summer’s January 6 hearings, which opened with nearly 20 million viewers. That’s not a complete shock given the early hour of the funeral proceedings: In the western half of the U.S., coverage started in the wee hours of the morning. Daytime coverage of the congressional hearings was much closer to the tune-in for the funeral. The queen’s good-bye wasn’t even the biggest royal event of the last decade here in the States: The nuptials of Harry and Meghan were seen by nearly 30 million Americans back in 2018. Still, the funeral coverage did help boost CNN and MSNBC’s daytime ratings well above their typical Monday averages, while top-rated Fox improved a bit on its usually strong morning numbers. What’s more, it’s likely many viewers caught the event via livestream or other digital platforms not measured by Nielsen’s early ratings.
This story has been updated.