BBC to waive licence fee so Brits can watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding at street parties

The waiver means communities wanting to get together to watch Prince Harry tie the knot with Meghan Markle will be able to do so without being charged.

Brits will be allowed to watch the nuptials for free at special events and parties in community centres, town halls and on the streets – places TV is not usually watched.

The one-off dispensation will also apply to shops and select events like agricultural shows.

Pipa Doubtfire, head of revenue management at the BBC, said: “I'm delighted to announce that we have decided to offer a one-off dispensation for the royal wedding on May 19.

"This will allow the public to enjoy live coverage of the occasion at special events like street parties, where TV is not usually watched, without needing to buy a licence."

She added: "By law, if live television or iPlayer is viewed on any premises, those premises must be covered by a valid TV licence.

"However, in exceptional circumstances, the BBC can grant a dispensation for the temporary viewing of television, so long as the viewing is for the sole purpose of screening an event which is judged by the BBC to be of national importance.

"The BBC considers that the royal wedding is such an event."

It’s not the first time the licence fee has been waived for a Royal wedding, with the same dispensation in place in 2011 when Prince William married Kate Middleton.

The countdown to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day is on, with the couple set to say “I do” on May 19.

The televised ceremony will take place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at midday, and will travel through Windsor in a carriage at 1pm.

The carriage procession will travel along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and back to Windsor Castle.

The couple will then return to a reception for congregation guests at St George's Hall.

In the evening, Prince Charles will also give a private evening reception for the couple and close friends and family.


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