An audience of 8.96 million saw the festive address on BBC One, ITV and Sky News, according to overnight ratings.
The BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special and Call the Midwife were the next two most popular shows.
In the battle of the soaps, ITV's Coronation Street came out on top.
In her first annual Christmas message since the death of Prince Philip, the Queen, 95, described him as her beloved.
"Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones - this year especially I understand why," she said in the pre-recorded 10-minute address broadcast at 15:00 GMT.
Her message last year, which centred on hope amid the pandemic, also topped the ratings, but drew slightly fewer viewers, with 8.14 million tuning in.