As the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II gets underway, viewers have taken to social media urging U.S. anchors to cut down on excessive commentary.
Most of the complaints began during the procession transferring the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Hall, where it has been lying in state since Wednesday, to Westminster Abbey, where the funeral is taking place.
The procession, which began around 10.45 a.m. in London (5.45 a.m. EST) was led by military personnel and included the Queen’s children King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and her grandchildren Prince William, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips, who followed the gun carriage bearing her coffin.
One user wrote, “@CNN can we just simply watch the funeral without all the excessive commentary ? This isn’t the Macy’s Parade.” While another said, “You don’t have to talk and provide commentary every minute. @CNN.”
Spritual healer Ariaa Jagger also asked for the commentary to end. Jagger wrote, “Could you guys please be quiet and let us watch the funeral we really don’t want to hear your commentary this is a solitary moment celebrating a remarkable woman with all due respect please shut up. @CNN @andersoncooper.” Followers suggested she instead switch over to BBC America, which was staying silent.
Over on NBC Live, the correspondents also continued to talk as the procession started.
On the BBC in the U.K, lead anchor Huw Edwards warned viewers there would be no commentary during any of the processions. He remained silent as the funeral cortege moved from the Hall to the Abbey, where the coffin was moved inside, at which point he briefly noted that the Abbey was where the Queen married Prince Philip in 1947 and had her coronation in 1952. He then fell silent again.
On ITV the anchors also remained silent before uttering some brief commentary as the coffin was transferred into the Abbey.
U.S. viewers have also complained about the commercials interrupting the funeral coverage. In a since-deleted tweet, one viewer wrote: “I had to view a purple 14 pro iPhone ad before viewing Queen Elizabeth funeral coverage @CNN and a Budweiser ad @nbc – just an fyi with all the dignity conversation in the States.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Running commentary and, commercials during a Funeral Procession is gross and, disrespectful.”
In the U.K., no commercial networks will be showing commercials during the funeral. Those that are not broadcasting the funeral, such as Channel 4, are reportedly showing shorter commercial breaks.
On CNN, where Anderson Cooper, Clarissa Ward and Max Foster are leading the coverage, commercials included advertisements for Instacart, medication and hearing aids.