Communities will be able to watch the royal nuptials at special events and parties

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

The dispensation means communities will be able to watch the royal nuptials at special events and parties in town halls, community centres and streets across Britain, where TV is not usually watched.

They will be able to screen the event live without having to buy a licence. The dispensation will also apply to shops and events such as agricultural shows.

Pipa Doubtfire, the BBC’s head of revenue management, said: “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.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, will marry the couple at a ceremony in St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The BBC previously waived the licence fee for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.