Pub hours relaxed for royal knees-up

LONDON Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:44am GMT

Leon Bannister poses with a pint of beer at the Bricklayers Arms, in Grays, Essex January 4, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Leon Bannister poses with a pint of beer at the Bricklayers Arms, in Grays, Essex January 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

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LONDON (Reuters) - Her Majesty's government has granted its subjects extra time down the local to toast the marriage of Prince William to his fiancee Kate.

Revellers will be allowed to prop up the bar until 1 a.m. for two successive nights on the weekend of the Royal wedding on April 29 and 30.

"The government considers that, as the Royal Wedding is an occasion for national celebration, licensing hours should be relaxed in all licensed premises in England and Wales," the Home Office said in a statement.

Pubs in England and Wales close at 11 p.m. unless they apply for a special 24-hour licence.

William will marry Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29.

The nuptials will be marked by a public holiday, meaning Britons will enjoy a four-day break over the May Day weekend. However with the Easter public holiday the preceding weekend many predict week-long celebrations.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association welcomed the announcement.

"This is great news, and it is really good to see the government recognising that this is a brilliant opportunity for us all to get together in the pub, to celebrate a great national event," she said in a statement.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Steve Addison)

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