The Sunday Times has courted controversy after journalist Caitlin Moran claimed the Queen’s funeral acted as an “emotional proxy” for people who lost loved ones during lockdown.
The Queen’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Monday was watched by more than 26 million viewers in the UK, one of the country’s biggest ever TV audiences, provisional figures show.
The service was broadcast simultaneously on a range of channels between 11am and just after midday, including BBC One and Two, ITV and Sky News.
An average of 26.2 million people watched across all channels, according to overnight ratings released by the research organisation Barb.
The figure is not quite as high as the official ratings for the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales in September 1997.
It is also fewer than how many people watched the Euro 2020 final.
Writing in the Sunday TImes, Caitlin Moran said the event acted as an “emotional proxy” for people who lost loved ones during lockdown, much to the anoyance of people on social media.
Millions of people were unable to bury their friends and family during the Covid-19 pandemic when restrictions were in place on gatherings.
At the height of the pandemic, some local councils prohibited any attendees at crematoriums and gravesides.
According to Co-op Funeralcare, Covid-19 restrictions meant that 9.7 million mourners had to stay away from cremations and burials.
The figure is based on an estimate that 243,000 funerals went ahead in the UK during lockdown with an average of 10 attendees due to coronavirus rules, compared with 50 in normal times.
Here’s a pick of the reaction to Moran’s editorial: