James Hibberd
April 30, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EDT

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Despite starting at 6 a.m. on a weekday, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton drew a king-size U.S. audience Friday morning.

The wedding coverage was carried live from about 6 a.m. to  7:15 a.m. on 11 networks and drew 22.8 million viewers and 18.6 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That’s a larger number of households than watched Prince Charles wed Lady Diana in 1981 (which drew 14.2 million households, with no viewership numbers available). It also vastly outperformed Prince Charles marrying Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 (3.7 million viewers and 3.2 million households). By comparison, about the same number of people watched American Idol’s performance show this week (22 million), and 28.9 million watched President Obama’s inauguration.

The ceremony from Westminster Abbey was carried by ABC, CBS, NBC, TEL, UNI, BBCA, CNN, E!, FOXNC, MSNBC, and TLC.

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