Viewers criticised BBC presenter Huw Edwards for talking over too much of Prince Philip’s funeral during his live broadcast today.
The BBC launched it’s six hours of funeral coverage at 11am on BBC One with The Duke: In His Own Words – one of Prince Philip’s last interviews – before news reader Edwards took over the sombre live broadcast at 12.30pm.
Viewers rushed to social media to say they had ‘switched to ITV’ to watch the historic event due to Edwards’ ‘constant inane chatter’ over footage of the procession ahead of the official ceremony.
Coverage on ITV was fronted by Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham and began at 1.15pm. Prince William recently ended his long-standing friendship with Bradby because of his concerns he sided with Prince Harry.
The Queen looked grief-stricken and bowed her head in reverence as she accompanied her beloved Philip’s coffin on its final journey.
Prior to Prince Philip’s coffin emerging from the State Entrance, Edwards provided background and context in a voice over from a studio in the grounds of Windsor.
Viewers rushed to Twitter to share their frustration at Edwards’ interjections, with Ruth Nguyen writing: ‘Poor coverage by the beeb.
‘Huw Edwards just kept talking throughout. Repetition, same coverage as all the other programmes.
‘ITV did a more sensitive and moving programme. Get a grip BBC.’
Meanwhile, Jackie Racher said she ‘switched to ITV coverage of the funeral’ because ‘Huw Edwards’ constant inane chatter was driving us crackers’.
Viewers blasted BBC presenter Huw Edwards (pictured) for talking over too much of Prince Philip’s funeral during his live broadcast today
ITV’s funeral coverage began at 1.15pm fronted by Bradby and Julie Etchingham. Prince William recently ended his long-standing friendship with Bradby because of his concerns he sided with Prince Harry
Viewers rushed to social media to say they had ‘switched to ITV’ to watch the historic event instead because of Edwards’ ‘constant inane chatter’ over footage of the procession ahead of the official ceremony
Jon Waples said: ‘BBC coverage is awful. Huw Edwards sounds just like Uncle Bryn from Gavin and Stacey giving us talk on the Land Rover.
‘ITV, quiet, few comments, respectful.’
Another Twitter user added: ‘Watching Prince Philip’s funeral and have had to turn over to ITV.
‘Does Huw Edwards ever shut up? Or even pause for breath?’
Edwards was joined by JJ Chalmers and Sophie Raworth who reported from ‘key locations’ for the BBC’s coverage of the day.
It follows a week which saw the BBC receive nearly 110,000 complaints about the amount of coverage it gave to Philip’s death.
Meanwhile, ITV’s funeral coverage began at 1.15pm and was presented by Bradby and Etchingham.
Following the funeral – when Harry and William were seen speaking to each other amid rift rumours – Bradby said: ‘Funerals are a time of reconciliation and that a sight, let’s be honest, that many wanted to see. Not least the family itself.’
Royal commentator Katie Nicholl told Edwards that ‘this was the day when the brothers were going to put, and did put, their differences aside’ – while the Daily Mail’s Robert Hardman said ‘today we saw the start of them coming back together.’
Sir David Attenborough – a friend of the duke’s – described Philip as ‘an extraordinary combination of being formidable and actually being cheerful’
The BBC’s and ITV’s programming will mean further schedule changes which could again spark complaints. Pictured: Major General Sir William George Cubitt (bottom left), journalist Eve Pollard (bottom right) and royal biographer Hugo Vickers (top)
Following the funeral – when Harry and William were seen speaking to each other amid rift fears – Bradby said: ‘Funerals are a time of reconciliation and that a sight, let’s be honest, that many wanted to see. Not least the family itself’
All the TV coverage of Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral this weekend
Friday at 7pm – HRH The Duke of Edinburgh Remembered presented by Huw Edwards
Saturday at 11am – The Duke: In His Own Words
Saturday at 12.30pm – The Funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh presented by Huw Edwards
Saturday at 8.10pm – The Funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – Huw Edwards reflects on the events of the day live from Windsor Castle
Saturday at 1.15pm – Prince Philip – a Royal Funeral presented by Tom Bradby
Sky News Coverage
Saturday at 10am – Sky News live from Windsor Castle presented by Sarah Hawson
Saturday at 12.30pm – Prince Philip’s Funeral presented by Dermot Murnaghan
Saturday at 5pm – Sky News live from Windsor Castle presented by Mark Austin
Saturday at 7pm – Sky News live from Windsor Castle presented by Anna Botting
Saturday at 9pm – Prince Philip’s Funeral – Anna Botting reflects on the events of the day live from Windsor Castle
The BBC’s coverage saw Edwards joined by guests who knew the duke, and Royal experts who share their thoughts on a remarkable life of duty and service.
Sir David Attenborough – a friend of the duke’s – described Philip as ‘an extraordinary combination of being formidable and actually being cheerful’.
He added: ‘You knew he was there in an extraordinary way, he had an amazing presence.’
He said the duke performed a ‘balancing act between formality and informality’, adding that he ‘both put you at your ease but also made you aware that you were actually to some degree on parade’.
Following the ceremony, royal commentator Katie Nicholl told Edwards that ‘this was the day when the brothers were going to put and did put their differences aside’.
Commenting on footage of the pair talking while walking back to Windsor Castle, she said: ‘Clearly there are things that need to be sorted out.
‘If there is one thing we have seen today: this is a family with real emotions and feelings and rifts all being part of it.
‘To see them together it for sure brought back many memories for them.’
Meanwhile, Robert Hardman said: ‘I think today we saw the start of them coming back together.’
Edwards is leading the coverage from 12.30pm to 4.20pm on BBC One – and a show on BBC Two reflecting on the day’s events from 8.10pm.
Other planned programming on BBC One will go ahead from 5pm tonight including the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City, followed by I Can See Your Voice, Casualty and Keeping Faith.
Sky News will have dedicated live coverage of the funeral from 12.30pm to 5pm from Windsor, with breakfast with Jayne Secker, mid-morning Sarah Hewson, special coverage by Dermot Murnaghan, and Mark Austin from 5pm.
But the BBC’s and ITV’s programming will mean further schedule changes which could again spark complaints.
Meanwhile the BBC revealed it had received a record 109,741 complaints about the amount of coverage it had given to Philip’s death, which is believed to be the record for complaints in British television history.
The BBC cleared its schedules last Friday, the day of the duke’s death, to simulcast special programmes on BBC One and BBC Two, with episodes of shows such as MasterChef and EastEnders dropped from that day’s TV guide.
Prince Charles and Prince William arrived at Windsor Castle with their wives ahead of the ceremony.
The grieving Prince of Wales, who shed tears for his late father when viewing tributes left at Buckingham Palace this week, looked sombre in a black mask as he was driven into his mother’s Berkshire home.
His wife Camilla arrived separately just as the duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who was wearing the Queen’s pearls, left Kensington Palace.
Alone in grief, the Queen sat on the opposite side of the church as she says goodbye to her husband at his funeral in extraordinary and poignant circumstances due to the pandemic
Harry and William walked back to the castle in the spring sunshine with Kate, speaking for the first time in a year
The Queen’s Bentley followed the coffin from the castle to the church, behind the Land Rover and her family marching together
Prince Philip’s cap and sword atop the coffin as it was carried on the Land Rover hearse he helped design
Zara Tindall and her husband Mike arrived at the castle shortly afterwards followed by Philip’s other grandchildren including Princess Beatrice and spouse Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
The Cambridges are set to see Prince Harry for the first time in a year after the brothers fell out over Megxit and the Sussexes extraordinary and damaging Oprah interview.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s insignia, Field Marshal’s baton, RAF wings and decorations from Denmark and Greece resting on cushions have been placed on the altar of St George’s Chapel to mark the passing of the ‘grandfather of the nation’.
At 11am his coffin, covered with Philip’s personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, was moved from Her Majesty’s private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
A tearful Prince Charles watches as his father’s body is carried to the altar, as he is supported by his wife Camilla
The Kings Troop and their artillery arrive for the funeral, with the ceremonial event involved 700 members of the armed forces
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery move along The Long Walk towards the castle ahead of the procession this afternoon as crowds amassed
The first glimpse of the altar inside the chapel shows the Duke’s insignia, Field Marshal’s baton, RAF wings and decorations from Denmark and Greece resting on cushions
The first mourners have been swept into Windsor Castle as Prince Philip’s coffin is moved into position ahead of his funeral this afternoon
Minutes later a convoy of funeral cars swept the first mourners into the main gates as a single Queen’s Guard stood to attention, as soldiers on horses trotted into the grounds where 700 armed forces personnel will gather.
The early guests arriving included The Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Penny Brabourne, Philip’s close friend and confidante, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The castle has a ‘ring of steel’ protecting it led by armed units from the Metropolitan Police. Tens of millions of people in Britain and around the world will be watching the most important royal funeral since the Queen Mother died in 2002.
The event, pared back because of the pandemic, was overseen by Philip for at least 20 years before his death.
Members of the Household Cavalry march past St George’s Chapel where Prince Philip’s funeral is taking place
The Household Cavalry would normally be flanked by huge crowds of mourners, but today only a sea of flowers surrounded them
Her Majesty is determined to ensure it reflects his ‘unwavering loyalty’ to her during their 73-year marriage and her 68-year reign on the throne as well his lifetime of service to the UK and the Commonwealth in his 99-year life.
Philip was the longest serving consort to a monarch in history, a record unlikely to be ever broken.
In pre-pandemic times thousands of mourners would have travelled to the Berkshire town to pay their respects, but the Royal Family, the Government and police are asking the public to stay away. However, it appears hundreds have defied the warnings and gathered to pay their respects in Windsor despite the risk of fines or even arrest.
People who knew Philip best have said he would be pleased about the smaller crowds because he always demanded ‘no fuss’ in the event of his death.
People staying at home for the funeral decked their homes in Union Flags and pictures of the duke and his wife, with many enjoying traditional full English breakfasts or afternoon teas as they watched on TV.