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Hundreds of employees slated to work at the Queen Elizabeth's official residence this summer have been laid off -- well before their first day on the job -- due to closures stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly 400 employees were told they were no longer needed after being recruited for the Buckingham Palace's summer opening, a spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust confirmed to FOX Business Thursday, adding that the employees were hired on three-month contracts.
"Unfortunately, we will now not be able to offer employment to those who were due to join on temporary contracts this summer," the spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust said. "Around 380 people would have been employed in front of house roles, working in our visitor services, retail and ticket sales teams in connection with the summer opening of Buckingham Palace, which will not now take place."
During most of the year, Buckingham Palace resides as the office and London residence of the Queen. However, since 1993, the palace opened its gates during the summer months for visitors to explore the gardens and 19 State Rooms, which are used for official entertaining and ceremonial functions during the year. Additionally, each year the Royal Collection Trust, which manages the public opening of the queen's official residences, creates a special exhibition for the palace's summer opening.
In March, however, the Trust announced in a statement that the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace "will now not open to the public this summer, owing to the operational challenges of social distancing."
Although the summer exhibit, which typically runs from late July to October, has been canceled in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, employees were told job offers will be carried over to the next year, according to the spokesperson.
State Rooms at the Frogmore House, where Megan Markle and Prince Harry held their wedding reception in 2018, and Clarence House are also closed to the public this summer for the "safety and wellbeing of our visitors and staff are our priority," the Trust announced.