Have your say: Are you going to watch Prince Philip's funeral?

Ellen Manning
·3-min read

The nation is expected to tune in to watch the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, with the BBC set to screen nearly six hours of coverage across three programmes on Friday and Saturday. 

The broadcaster's coverage of Prince Philip's death drew record complaints after it cleared its schedules across both BBC One and BBC Two to run a series of special programmes, as well as coverage on the news channel and BBC radio stations.

According to the BBC’s fortnightly complaints bulletin, some 104,010 people complained about the coverage within the first three days - the highest number ever published in the UK about television programming.

By Thursday, the overall total stood at 109,741.

The BBC said in a statement: “The passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally.

“We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given and impact this had on the billed TV and radio schedules.

Read more: The 30 guests confirmed to be attending Prince Philip's funeral

“We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster during moments of national significance.

“We are grateful for all feedback and we always listen to the response from our audiences.”

Watch: BBC receives record 100,000 complaints after wall-to-wall Prince Philip death coverage

Despite the complaints, BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards will lead nearly six hours of coverage broadcast from Windsor across three programmes on Friday and Saturday.

ITV News’ funeral coverage on Saturday will be led by Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham.

Details of the duke’s funeral were released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday and final preparations were expected to continue on Friday.

A palace spokesman said the Queen and her family were grateful for messages of condolence from around the world and had been touched to hear so many people sharing fond memories of the duke.

The spokesman said the monarch had to make “difficult decisions" about who would be at the funeral due to COVID restrictions.

The 30 guests include all of the duke’s children and grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and three of Philip’s German relatives.

The palace has confirmed the Queen, like all 30 guests, will wear a face mask during the funeral which will last 50 minutes.

Rolling coverage following the Philip's death meant the final of MasterChef was postponed and EastEnders was also delayed.

The BBC set up a dedicated webpage for viewers to lodge their dissatisfaction at its coverage - a standard BBC approach when dealing with volume complaints on a temporary basis.

The broadcaster also received complaints from viewers about the inclusion of the Duke of York in its coverage despite his association with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The BBC said: “All of Prince Philip’s children gave a tribute to their father following his passing, which we have covered in our news programming.

“We have fully reported on the allegations against Prince Andrew and we have also made it clear that he has not been charged with any crime. We consider we have appropriately covered his comments.”

Watch: Prince Philip's funeral: The planned procession to St George's Chapel