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Royal wedding: TV licence waived for community parties

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image captionPrince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 19 May

The BBC has waived the TV licence fee for communities wanting to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.

It means street parties and other special events can screen the wedding live without buying a licence.

Usually a premises must be covered by a TV licence for showing live TV or iPlayer, but this can be waived in exceptional circumstances.

Hundreds of street party applications have been made to councils to mark the wedding on 19 May, the government said.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said about 60 applications have been made in Bromley, south east London, 54 in Richmond, west London, and 12 in Reading, Berkshire.

It said many councils have waived fees for street party road closures and pub opening hours have been extended for the special occasion.

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Pipa Doubtfire, the BBC's head of revenue management, said: "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."

For those communities interested in watching the FA Cup final, which will be broadcast on BBC One at 17:15 BST, a BBC Press Office spokesman said:

"The dispensation is just for watching the royal wedding. On this occasion, it doesn't cover other events on the day, such as the FA Cup final."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, in St George's chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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