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Queen Elizabeth II's final act was one of her most unifying.

Her Majesty's state funeral, the first of its kind to be televised, offered a chance for mourners to come together in grief and celebration regardless of their political or other beliefs. The ceremony, which dominated the airwaves starting about 4 a.m. Central time, was expected to be watched by more than 4 billion viewers worldwide, making it the biggest event in television history. In comparison, 2.5 billion tuned in for Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.

Ever since she died, anything royal seems to be of interest, and "The Crown" returned to the top 10 most in-demand shows on Netflix.

With so many eyes on them, many TV anchors felt the need to talk nonstop for much of the morning as if we might think our sets were on the blink if we didn't hear their voices.

Others showed great restraint, especially during the service at Westminster Abbey. Early in the BBC coverage, which was picked up by PBS, anchor Huw Edwards promised his audience that he would not be talking much, as it would be disrespectful.

As dignitaries entered the church, his colleague Fergal Keane offered comments in a hushed tone, as if he was narrating a documentary on hummingbirds.

Keeping quiet was a tougher challenge for the American media, which included many heavyweights. The three main networks' evening news anchors — NBC's Lester Holt, ABC's David Muir and CBS' Norah O'Donnell — were all on hand. Part of the reason they flew over was good business. CNN, which has offered breathless, detailed coverage since the queen's death on Sept. 8, has watched its ratings rise, especially in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

Words like "seamless," "smooth" and "surreal" were common.

ABC's Robin Roberts shared how Laura Bush once introduced her to the queen.

"Those blue eyes locking in on you," the "Good Morning America" personality said. "And there's nothing else that matters in the world."

But mostly, the Americans turned to the Brits for color commentary, soaking up details about everything from the royal line of succession to trivia about historical buildings.

On CNN, Emily Nash, royal editor of Hello! magazine, said the experience of actually being at Westminster for the service was "spine-tingling." Fox recruited Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne, who used the invite to chastise the queen's grandson Harry for plans to put out a tell-all memoir. It was one of the few moments of negativity.

At their best, the commentators let the pictures do the talking. More than 200 high-definition cameras were used in the pool coverage, capturing breathtaking pictures of fifers marching to Parliament Square, the crown balanced on the coffin, tens of thousands of people lining the streets, throwing flowers toward the motorcade.

Coverage also allowed viewers to enjoy sounds ranging from Mendelssohn's "Funeral March" to the chimes of Big Ben to the sole bagpiper paying tribute from the Abbey's balcony.

"Feast for the ears as well as the eyes," NBC's Savannah Guthrie said.