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Royal wedding draws 29M viewers in US

When it comes to royal weddings, the nuptials between Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle set a new U.S. audience standard.

According to fast national data from Nielsen Holdings, an estimated 23.7 million U.S. households and 29.2 million people watched the May 19 wedding ceremony across 15 networks from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. ET.

That compared with nearly 18.6 million households and 22.8 million viewers for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, which aired on 11 networks.

In the U.K., the results were reversed. Saturday’s ceremony drew almost 18 million watchers, making it the most-viewed show of 2018, but trailed the more than 24 million who watched the Prince William-Kate Middleton marriage seven years earlier.

Stateside, the nuptials of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles garnered 3.65 million watchers on April 9, 2005, on the three cable news networks: FOX News Channel (US), CNN (US) and MSNBC (US).

Prince Charles' marriage to Lady Diana Spencer — the mother of William and Harry — was viewed in 14.2 million U.S households on July 29, 1981, but the audience delivery data for CBS (US), NBC (US) and ABC (US) was not available, according to Nielsen.

NBC set the pace with 6.42 million viewers from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., ahead of the 6.35 million watchers on ABC and 4.79 million for CBS. FOX News was the cable leader with 1.94 million watchers, while there were 1.79 million for CNN and 994,000 on MSNBC.

On the social side, there were 6.9 million total interactions across Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. tied to the royal wedding, according to data from Nielsen Social.