Internet Rips Royal Funeral Coverage as Hurricane Fiona Batters Puerto Rico

Various social media users have expressed frustration over wall-to-wall coverage of the royal funeral as Puerto Rico struggles against another hurricane.

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place at London's Westminster Abbey on Monday following her death on September 8. The event was estimated to feature around 2,000 guests, including 500 world leaders, according to CNBC. Coverage of the event has been considerable across the board, with some experts estimating that as many as four billion people could tune in to watch the proceedings. Whatever the estimate, the funeral is generally expected to be one of the most-watched events in history.

At the same time, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico suffered a complete loss of power on Sunday as the recently upgraded Hurricane Fiona made landfall. Nearly 1.5 million were left without electricity in a grim echo of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, almost five years to the day that that historic storm made landfall. As of Monday, the storm has also begun to impact the Dominican Republic.

puerto rico hurricane royal funeral coverage
Above, a shot of flooding in the streets of Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Fiona. Many online have taken issue with the extensive coverage of the royal funeral compared to Puerto Rico's troubles. Jose Rodriguez/AFP via Getty Images

In response to the wall-to-wall royal funeral coverage, some online have expressed frustration at the relative lack of time spent covering Puerto Rico's troubles. Political strategist Ana Navarro lamented the disparity, while still offering condolence to the Royal Family.

"Folks, I respect the Queen as much as the next person," Navarro tweeted. "I offer my condolences to the Brits and all who loved her. But can I please get some news and footage of the effects of Fiona in Puerto Rico? For those who need reminding, they are American citizens in distress."

Another user, Kavita N. Ramdas, highlighted the disparity in response to an ABC News tweet focused on the late Queen's pet dogs.

"[ABC News] did you know that people on #PuertoRico are struggling with a huge natural disaster right now while the vast majority of your covers is about #queens and #corgis?!" Ramdas tweeted.

New York Journalist Steve Kastenbaum also noted the disproportionate coverage of the queen's corgis, especially considering the extensive damage done to Puerto Rico's power grid and water supply.

The Queen's Corgis are getting more attention than the devastating impact of Hurricane Fiona on Puerto Rico and now the Dominican Republic. As much as 30 inches of rain fell on parts of PR, knocking out the entire power grid and drinking water for much of the island.

"Excuse me news channels, but Hurricane Fiona hit the Dominican Republic and left all of Puerto Rico without electricity," another user, going by Nikki, tweeted. "I would rather hear about what's going on there than to watch Queen Elizabeth II's funeral."

LUMA Energy, the company that provides all of Puerto Rico's residents with electricity, estimated on Sunday that restoring the power grid would take "several days." Government officials in the territory have assured residents that, despite the widespread issues, the impact of Hurricane Fiona will not be a repeat of Maria.