The UK government wants to keep pubs and bars open late to mark Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding
- The Home Office hopes to extend licensing hours for pubs and bars over the weekend of the next royal wedding.
- Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on Saturday May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, the same day as the FA Cup final.
- Under the proposal, hours would be extended until 1 a.m.
The Home Office hopes to extend licensing hours for pubs and bars across the UK over the royal wedding weekend in May this year, it announced on Sunday.
The government has launched a public consultation on plans to extend licensing hours on the nights of Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May until 1 a.m. "to give everyone the chance to celebrate the occasion."
Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on Saturday May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Berkshire - the same day the FA Cup final will be held at Wembley.
Licensing hours were last extended for the Queen's 90th birthday in 2016, and before that for William and Kate's wedding in 2011.
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."
Most pubs and bars in the UK shut at 11 p.m. or 12 p.m., although some have obtained licences which allow them to stay open later.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association commented: "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." He added that the proposed extended hours could give a £10 million boost to the trade.