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Royal wedding: Pub hours extended for celebrations

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Image copyright PA

Pubs will be allowed to stay open later than usual to give everyone a chance to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.

Licensing hours can be extended over a "celebration period" to mark an occasion of exceptional international, national or local significance.

It means pubs and bars across England and Wales can keep serving until 1am on the morning of the wedding day, and again after the couple are married.

The wedding takes place on 19 May.

Hours will be extended to 1am, instead of the usual 11pm, on the nights of Friday 18 May and Saturday 19 May without pubs having to apply for an extension.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The couple will wed at St George's Chapel in Windsor

The wedding takes place on the same day as the FA Cup final.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd stressed that there have been no reports of "increased disorder" as a result of previous extensions to licensing hours, which have also coincided with major football fixtures.

"The royal wedding is a chance for communities across the country to join together and celebrate this momentous and happy occasion for our royal family and for our nation," she said.

"As shown by the support for the proposal to extend licensing hours, it's clear that the public back the idea of having more time to raise a glass to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a day of national celebration."

The Licensing Act 2003 has been used for a number of occasions, including Prince William's wedding in 2011, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations in 2016.

The latest extension was welcomed by Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association.

She said: "We are delighted with the Government's decision to extend licensing hours in the on-trade for the royal wedding.

"This will allow the nation to celebrate and raise a glass to Harry and Meghan in a responsible manner, whilst giving a timely boost to the great British beer and pub sector."

On Friday Harry and Meghan announced that thousands of people will be invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to share their wedding day.

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