05:30PM, Tuesday 09 January 2018
Royal Wedding celebrations could go on into the early hours if the government gets its way.
Pubs, clubs, bars and other licensed premises may be allowed to stay open and sell alcohol on the premises later than usual to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May under plans announced by the Home Secretary on Sunday (Jan 7).
A public consultation has been launched on plans to extend licensing hours on the nights of Friday 18 and Saturday, May 19 until 1am the following morning.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “The Royal Wedding will be a time of national celebration, and we want everyone to be able to make the most of such an historic occasion.
“I hope that this relaxation of the licensing hours will allow people to extend their festivities and come together to mark what will be a very special moment for the country.”
Licensing hours orders have previously been made for occasions of national significance including the Queen’s 90th birthday, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, and the World Cup in 2014.
Chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid Simmonds, said: “This is great news for pubs and pub-goers and shows the government has listened to our calls to put pubs at the heart of the Royal Wedding celebrations.
“Visitors see the Great British pub as a cultural icon, almost as much as the Royal Family.
“Extended hours would give a £10million boost to the trade and make the most of the expected increase in tourism.”
The consultation closes on Sunday, February 4.
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