‘Downton Abbey’ castle can no longer host weddings

Tough times have fallen on a palatial, TV-famous estate.

As a result of Brexit, the royal Highclere Castle in southern England has fallen on hard financial times.

Antique estate, where the hit historical drama “Downton Abbeywas filmed, has recently been forced to stop hosting large weddings due to severe staff shortages.

“We’ve stopped offering weddings of any sizable size because of Brexit,” said Countess Fiona Carnarvon, who co-owns the 1,274-year-old estate with her husband, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon. told Reuters this month.

Before the pandemic, when the palace had grown into a well-to-do income for the aristocratic couple, it hosted weddings of more than 25,100 persons, about half (40%) of its total business.

Now, however, they are unable to find enough workers, leaving them unable to perform weddings larger than about 20 guests – a serious hit to revenue.

Previously, students from the European Union formed a core part of the palace’s workforce.

“There are no staff,” the countess told Reuters from the morning room of the Citadel, the first written record of which dates back to 749 of an Anglo-Saxon king gifting the estate to some bishops. Highclere’s website, “When we go to our normal agencies and try to find people, they’re not there.”

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Brexit
Highclere Castle as seen in 2019 ahead of the world premiere of the film “Downton Abbey”.
AFP via Getty Images

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Brexit
Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville in “Downton Abbey.”
Courtesy of Focus Features / Everett Collection

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Brexit
“Downton Abbey: A New Era” author Julian Fellowes, set in 2022.
Courtesy of Focus Features / Everett Collection

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Brexit
Highclere Castle as seen here in 2016.
AFP via Getty Images

Afternoon tea time has also been affected: lacking sufficient staff, Highclere no longer offers the traditional diversion.

According to university admissions service UCAS, Brexit has had an impact on the number of EU students applying to UK universities.

It’s not just the fort: Britain has experienced a widespread labor shortage across all industries, including construction and manufacturing.

Significantly, as a result of Brexit, HighClear has also stopped shipping its merchandise to EU countries, even though they once made up a third of the gift shop’s business.

The paperwork required for the transaction, combined with increased shipping costs, has become immense, the countess explained.

“We are now wrapped up in red tape in every piece of our business,” she said.

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