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‘Downton Abbey’ castle halts weddings due to Brexit and staff shortages


Good help is proving especially hard to find in real-life Downton Abbey.

Highclere Castle, where the popular period drama was filmed, stopped hosting weddings because it was unable to hire enough workers due to Brexit.

The Victorian castle, located in Hampshire in the south of England, served as the main filming location for the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show. However, its main business has long been as a luxurious venue to celebrate. weddings, typically hosting 25 weddings with around 100 guests each year.

Countess Fiona Carnarvon, who owns the castle with her husband, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, blamed Brexit for the inability to hire workers of the European Union.

“There are no staff,” he told Reuters, describing the shortage of EU students studying in Britain who previously made up much of the employee base at the location.

“We have stopped being able to offer weddings of any substantial size due to Brexit,” he said.

“When we go to our usual agencies and try to find people, they are not there. If we ask for 10, three may appear… there is no one we haven’t asked”.

The situation mirrors “Downton Abbey”, where the staff left the castle while the First World War was going on.

The castle’s other lucrative businesses, including a gift shop and afternoon tea service, have also been affected.

Hospitality is one of many industries in Britain that has experienced worker shortages since the country officially left the European Union in January 2020. Manufacturing, construction and shipping have been similarly affected.

Meanwhile, Countess Fiona Carnarvon, who has also written several books on the history of the castleShe has remained active on Instagram. Last week, she posted a video of herself. sliding down a railing followed by two farmers, and often shares other aspects of daily life in the castle.

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