Should pubs open till 1am for Harry and Meghan?

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The royal wedding of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle isn’t until May, but the UK government already wants to get pubs involved.

It has launched a consultation on whether opening hours should be extended to 1am for the whole weekend of May 18 and 19. arguing that “we want everyone to make the most of such an historic occasion”.

In Scotland it’s thought likely most licensing boards will approve the move, but there’s a minor complication - because that weekend also sees both the Scottish Cup Final and FA Cup Final being staged.

Even if the London-originated move is backed by licensing boards north of the border some publicans may balk at the thought of a super-busy weekend.

Similar late hours moves were approved for the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016 and Prince William’s wedding in 2011.

The British Beer and Pub Association, which represents many chain pubs, is predicting a cash bonanza for licensees who open late - but in Scotland a lot could depend on the timing (often controversial) of match coverage.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd reportedly argues that “visitors see the Great British Pub as a cultural icon, almost as much as the Royal Family”, and that the wedding will be “a very special moment for the country”.

But it’s open to question whether early-season tourists in Falkirk would expect bunting, English-style street parties, etc, on the day.

In some areas of Scotland 1am opening is frowned upon because publicans and police like to preserve a two-hour minimum differential between pubs and clubs emptying, to reduce the threat of disorderly groups in town centres.