Calls for North-east bars to open longer for Royal wedding

Bars in the city could open later into the night so fans of the royal family can raise a toast to the happy couple.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married on May 19, and a major pub chain has urged Aberdeen City Council to ease licensing restrictions so revellers can celebrate a “very special moment”.

However, one prominent licensee has laughed off Greene King’s application, calling it a “heap of nonsense”.

UK Government Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “The Royal wedding will be a time of national celebration and we want everyone to be able to make the most of such an historic occasion.

“I hope that a relaxation of licensing hours will allow people to extend their festivities and come together to mark what will be a special moment for the country.”

In a letter to the council, Linda Robinson, of Greene King, which runs 13 bars in and around Aberdeen, including the aptly-named Prince of Wales, cited Ms Rudd’s comments and added: “The UK Government is looking to allow bars and other licensed premises to delay calling time on May 18 and 19 to allow the nation to better celebrate the Royal wedding.

“So that we may plan ahead to join in said celebrations, can you advise what your extension policy will be for this event of national significance?”

The council’s licensing board is due to meet on Wednesday to decide if drinking rules will be relaxed for May 18 and 19.

However, Paul Clarkson director of PB Devco, which owns Soul on Union Street, as well nine as other bars, restaurants and casinos in the city, said it was a pointless move.

He added: “The idea that people from Aberdeen are going to celebrate the Royal wedding to such an extent that bars need to open longer is a heap of nonsense.

“It might be something that will happen in some parts of England, but I just can’t see a particular need to extend opening hours over those two days in Aberdeen.

“No way will people here be that interested.”