Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding will not be bank holiday, Downing Street says

'There isn't a precedent in this area' says Number Ten, as hopes of a day off dashed

Rachel Roberts@TheRachelPaper
Monday 27 November 2017 17:12
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced their engagement

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be a national holiday, Downing Street has announced.

News of the pair's engagement had prompted hopes the country's workers would be granted a day off on the day of the nuptials next year.

But Theresa May's official spokesman said: "There are no plans for a Bank Holiday.

"There isn't a precedent in this area."

The spokesman pointed out that there was no Bank Holiday to mark the weddings of Prince Andrew in 1986 or Prince Edward in 1999.

But a Bank Holiday was held for the wedding of Princess Anne in 1973, who like Harry was not a direct heir to the throne but was behind her brothers in the line for succession.

A Bank Holiday was declared throughout the UK in 2011 for the wedding day of Prince William to Kate Middleton, and the nation was given the day off for the Prince of Wales's marriage to Diana Spencer in 1981.

The couple announced their engagement on Monday morning following a sixteen month romance, prompting calls on social media for the nation to have the day off.

Prince William is much further up in the line of succession than his brother, being second in line to the throne.

Prince Harry has dropped to fifth behind his nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte. He will drop to sixth once the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's new baby is born.

The wedding will take place in the spring, Clarence House announced, although no further details have yet been given as to the venue or date.

It is thought unlikely to take place in April, as this is when the new royal baby is due.

Politicians across the political spectrum have offered congratulations to Prince Harry and his American actress fiancee.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said he hoped the couple would have "a lot of fun together", had promised the nation an additional four bank holidays in the party's election manifesto.

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