For years, the British royal family has been a spectacle Americans can enjoy from a distance without any real personal stake. But with Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry, Americans dove head first into the royal wedding extravaganza. The U.S. audience for this royal wedding may even be bigger than the U.K.’s.
Despite the fact that it aired in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, the stateside audience for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day was 17.6 million viewers on just three of the biggest broadcast networks, according to The Hollywood Reporter. These numbers are expected to grow when other networks get tallied into the mix.
NBC brought in the most ratings, with 6.42 million viewers from its Today Show coverage. ABC trailed right behind it with 6.38 million viewers, while CBS came in with 4.79 million. Those numbers are averages of the peak time of the festivities, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. PT (9 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET), according to Hollywood Reporter.
U.S. viewership is expected to pass the U.K.'s, where there was an estimated audience of 18 million people. Despite the huge viewership, and Markle’s American status, the ratings are predicted to be shy of the last royal wedding. The 2011 ceremony between Prince William and Kate Middleton averaged 23 millions viewers in the U.S.
Markle wasn’t the only American celebrity showing out on the day of her joyous union. Oprah, Serena Williams, and more graced the ceremony with their presence. Check out everyone who turned heads at the royal wedding here.