PUBS, clubs, bars and other licensed premises could be allowed to stay open and sell alcohol later to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The announcement by Home Secretary Amber Rudd comes as the government has today launched a public consultation on plans to extend licensing hours on the nights of Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 until 1am.
Ms 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 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.’
Changes to licensing hours have previously been made for other occasions including the Queen’s 90th birthday, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 and the World Cup in 2014.
The proposal has been welcomed by the British Beer and Pub Association.
Chief executive 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 £10m boost to the trade and make the most of the expected increase in tourism.’
The government proposes to make a licensing hours order under Section 172 of the Licensing Act, which would extend opening hours for the sale of alcohol to benefit those premises in England and Wales which are not normally licensed until 1am.
The four-week public consultation will give the public the opportunity to submit their views.
The government will also seek the views of specific stakeholders, including the police, licensing authorities and alcohol awareness groups.
To take part in the consultation visit gov.uk/government/consultations/relaxation-of-licensing-hours-for-the-royal-wedding