Bow down, Nancy Pelosi – Queen Elizabeth’s final flight became the most-watched plane in history on Tuesday.
Global flight-tracking service Flightradar24, which provides real-time information on thousands of planes around the world, said the military C-17 Globemaster carrying the Queen’s coffin was watched by an estimated 5 million people in real time as it flew from Edinburgh, Scotland to RAF Northolt, an airbase near London. This included 4.79 million people who tracked the theft on the tracking service’s website and mobile app, as well as another 296,000 who logged on to the Live broadcast on YouTube.
Related: Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace
In fact, those numbers could have climbed even higher if the increase in online traffic hadn’t crashed the Flightradar24 site. The tracking service reported that 6 million people attempted to click on the flight carrying the Queen in the first minute activation of the plane’s transponder, which was simply too much to handle. “The stability of the site has suffered,” he acknowledged in a message Tuesday evening. “We expected a large influx of users, but this immediate and massive spike was beyond what we had anticipated.”
Flightradar24 said it handled a total of 76.2 million queries related to the theft of the late Queen’s. These requests included user actions such as clicking the flight icon or clicking aircraft information.
Flightradar24 also saw a surge in traffic last month as more than 700,000 people attempted to track Speaker of the House Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan, which set the record for the most-watched flight at the time. “It’s as busy as it gets,” Ian Petchenik, director of communications for Flightradar24, told MarketWatch last month. But the unprecedented interest in the flight carrying the Queen’s coffin far exceeded those numbers.
“Queen Elizabeth II’s latest flight from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt is by far the most followed flight of all time on Flightradar24 and is likely to remain at the top for a long time to come,” the service said.
Additionally, the death of Queen Elizabeth II is expected to trigger massive demand for hotels in London as visitors flock to the British capital to honor the beloved monarch.