British pubs to close late for royal wedding celebration

London, Jan 8 : Opening hours for all public houses and bars in Britain will be extended on two nights in May to let people celebrate the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry to US TV star Meghan Markle.

File Photo: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The couple will marry at Windsor castle on May 19.

British Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday that under its plan pubs, clubs, bars and other licensed premises could be allowed to stay open and sell alcohol till late to celebrate the royal wedding, Xinhua news agency reported.

The government launched a public consultation on plans to extend licensing hours on the nights of May 18 and May 19 until 1 a.m. the following morning to give everyone the chance to mark the occasion.

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.”

Licensing hours have previously been extended 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.

The CEO 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.”

A four-week public consultation will give the public an opportunity to submit their views on the proposals. The government will also seek the views of specific stakeholders, including the police, licensing authorities and alcohol awareness groups.