BBC waives licence fee for royal wedding street parties

Communities will be able to screen the ceremony at events without paying the annual fee

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Getty, SL

The BBC has decided to waive the TV licence fee for one day only on 19th May, so that the royal wedding can be shown at communal events for free.

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Ordinarily, a venue or special event seeking to screen live TV must be covered by the annual payment, but this can be overlooked in exceptional circumstances. The marriage of Prince Harry to Suits star Meghan Markle has proven to be one such occasion, with hundreds of street party applications having been made to councils, according to the BBC.

“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,” BBC’s head of revenue management Pipa Doubtfire said.  “The BBC considers that the royal wedding is such an event.”

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The wedding is one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year – so much so that there’s plenty of programming centred around it in the coming weeks. Check out our guide to the upcoming royal wedding specials here – and catch the ceremony itself live from Windsor Castle on Saturday 19th May on BBC1.


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