Downton Abbey venue to scrap weddings 'because of Brexit'

Fairy tale weddings at the castle where Downton Abbey was filmed will no longer be possible, and the Lady in charge of the building says Brexit is to blame - Charlie Frost reports

While TV fans will instantly recognise Highclere Castle as ITV's Downton Abbey, couples up and down the UK will hold the 17th century castle in their hearts as the place they got married.

From Lady Mary's onscreen wedding - watched by millions of viewers of the beloved period drama - to Katie Price and Peter Andre's fairy tale day, the venue has seen hundreds of couples tie the knot.

But weddings at the castle will be a thing of the past, thanks to Brexit.

Hugh Bonneville and the cast of Downton Abbey

Owners of the stunning Hampshire venue have said it will no longer be hosting the large scale events due to a shortage of workers.

Speaking to The Independent, Lady Fiona Carnarvon said: “Brexit has undermined the wedding industry at Highclere, and it has really all been about the effects of leaving the EU.

“It is a matter of fact that Brexit has caused such a retraction of people available to work in the hospitality business that we realised we simply cannot guarantee that we can find enough staff to put on an event of the quality that we would want.

"We have tried everything but there is no point pursuing the quest any further.”

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Nationally, there are historically high levels of companies being unable to fill roles, with hospitality being the hardest hit, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

The government says it is monitoring the number of low skilled workers needed and that since the pandemic there are many UK workers who have not gone back into employment.

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