BBC offers a special licence fee dispensation to mark the Royal Wedding

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The BBC is offering local communities a special one-off dispensation to mark the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Ms. Megan Markle on Saturday May 19, allowing the public to come together and take part in the occasion.

The dispensation allows those celebrating the Royal Wedding through organising special events and parties in town halls, community centres and streets across Britain, where TV is not usually watched, to screen the event live without needing to purchase a licence. The dispensation will also apply to shops and events such as agricultural shows.

Live Coverage

The couple will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in a midday ceremony, taking place in St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The couple will then travel through the streets of Windsor in a carriage. Audiences from across the UK will be able to enjoy comprehensive BBC coverage across radio, TV and online, details of which will be announced in due course.

The BBC has announced its presenting line-up for the TV broadcast of the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday 19 May. Leading the coverage for BBC One will be presenting team Kirsty Young, Huw Edwards, Dermot O’Leary, Tina Daheley, Alex Jones, Ore Oduba and Anita Rani. HRH Prince Harry, Meghan Markle. Credit: Getty Images

One-Off Dispensation

Pipa Doubtfire, Head of Revenue Management for the BBC, says: “I’m delighted to announce that we have decided to offer a one-off dispensation for the Royal Wedding on May 19. This will allow the public to enjoy live coverage of the occasion at special events like street parties, where TV is not usually watched, without needing to buy a licence.”

“By law, if live television or iPlayer is viewed on any premises, those premises must be covered by a valid TV Licence. However, 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.”

Aside from one-off dispensations, a TV licence is needed to watch or record live TV, on any device including a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel or device, and to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.