Britain is planning one of its biggest celebrations ever as new government plans will allow pubs, clubs and bars to stay open into the early hours over next year’s bank holiday weekend to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Venues across England and Wales would be able to continue serving customers for an extra two hours to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the monarch’s reign under the draft order.
Home Secretary Priti Patel is seeking to extend licensing hours from the normal 11pm to 1am from Thursday June 2 to Saturday June 4 during the extended bank holiday weekend.
To mark the “unprecedented milestone in national life”, ministers have promised a show mixing “ceremonial splendour” with “technological displays”.
Among the events planned are a live concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars, a service of thanksgiving and a day at the races.
On Sunday June 5, the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will also be staged in London featuring more than 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth.
The event will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets, combining street arts, theatre, music and circus.
Section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003 allows Ms Patel to lay an order before Parliament to give permission for premises to stay open longer to mark occasions of exceptional significance.
The move to extend licensing hours will be subject to a month-long public consultation during which people can submit their views on the proposals.
Any issues raised by specific stakeholders including the police, licensing authorities and alcohol awareness groups will also be taken into consideration, the Government said.
Past national events that have seen the Government push back closing time have included the 2011 and 2018 royal weddings, the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, and the Fifa World Cup in 2014.
On February 6 next year, the Queen is set to become the first British sovereign to have been on the throne for seven decades.
Individual members of the royal family attending have yet to be named but it is likely the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the monarchy will attend.
The Platinum Jubilee is a truly historic occasion, and it is right that the country should mark this celebration in a special way.Priti Patel
Ms Patel said: “Her Majesty the Queen is an example to us all – she has served the UK and the Commonwealth with the utmost dignity, steadfastness and resolve throughout her remarkable reign.
“This extension will enable families, friends and communities across England and Wales to raise a glass to toast Her Majesty the Queen and mark her incredible service to our country.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Next year we will celebrate an unprecedented milestone in our national life.
“No other British monarch has served for 70 years and it is fitting that, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, we toast Her Majesty for her dedication and service.”