The National Grid had predicted lower interest in last Friday’s event, but a surge in TV viewing meant it was the fourth highest energy sapping event in UK television history.

Electricity use peaked at 2,400MW as television coverage followed the newly married Mr and Mrs Windsor back to Buckingham Palace following their wedding in Westminster Cathedral at around 12.40pm.

At key points during the ceremony there was:

· a 1500MW drop in demand as Kate travelled by car to Westminster Abbey

·a 1000MW surge as people took a quick break from the proceedings when the service then continued

·an 800MW surge as the couple moved to sign the register

·a 2400MW surge, equivalent to nearly a million kettles being switched on, as live coverage switches back to the studio.

This was equivalent to nearly one million kettles being boiled at once and topped Charles and Diane’s wedding, which saw an energy surge of 1,800MW equivalent to 720,000 kettles being boiled at the same time.

National Grid’s power system manager, John Carnwath, said: “This impact in demand was broadly in line with our forecast, although the final surge was larger than expected, reflecting the huge interest in the event.

“It was a fascinating day to work in our control room, seeing the huge impact on electricity demand of millions of people across Britain being brought together by William and Kate’s wedding.”

The only TV events to top the wedding were:

·The record of 2800MW set at the end of the nail-biting penalty shoot-out after England’s World Cup semi-final against West Germany in 1990.

·The 2600MW surge in demand after a 1984 episode of The Thornbirds.

·The 2570MW surge at half-time during England’s semi-final match against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup.

Luke Walsh

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