British pubs to stay open later to celebrate wedding of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

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Opening hours for all public houses and bars in Britain will be extended on two nights in May to enable people to celebrate the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, Prince Harry to U.S. television star Meghan Markle.

The couple are to marry in a ceremony at Windsor castle on May 19.

British Secretary Amber Rudd said Sunday under its plans pubs, clubs, bars and other licensed premises could be allowed to stay open and sell alcohol later to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

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

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.

“Visitors see the Great British pub as a cultural icon, almost as much as the Royal Family. Extended hours would give a 10 million pounds (13.6 million U.S. dollars) boost to the trade and make the most of the expected increase in tourism.” said Simmonds.

A four-week public consultation will give the public the 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.

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