It looks like George Clooney might make his bride-to-be’s fairy tale complete with a lavish wedding at Highclere Castle in the English countryside. Clooney is reportedly considering renting out the castle, the site where the popular PBS TV series Downton Abbey is filmed, for a starting price of about $25,000 a day.
Clooney and his fiancee, Amal Alamuddin, who is a huge Downton Abbey fan, plan to wed in September. It will be the anniversary of when she and George met and began their whirlwind romance. Though Clooney has yet to finalize any Downton Abbey plans, he did take Amal on a surprise trip to London a few days ago. While in London, Clooney took Alamuddin to Highclere Castle.
According to reports, Clooney friend and Monuments Men co-star Hugh Bonneville helped arrange the private tour. Bonneville also stars in Downton Abbey. If George and his love of less than one year do choose the location for the nuptials, it will be convenient for Amal’s mother and many friends, who live in London. She also works there as a lawyer.
If Clooney and his fiancee do wed at the spectacular Victorian castle, it will be an ideal private setting for their many famous guests. It is set amid 1,000 acres of parkland and has been inhabited by the Carnarvon family since the 15th century. The current Carnavon family residents rent out parts of the castle for weddings, so Clooney would likely rent the huge salon and other parts of the building as well as parts of the grounds. The family is also notable for their contributions to world culture. In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon was responsible for finding the famed Egyptian tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen and other Egyptian treasures, of which many are still on display in the castle.
If George and Amal do marry at Highclere, it will be easy for Clooney’s friends in Hollywood to join them, as it is only 50 minutes from London’s Heathrow Airport.
The couple have also been in the news lately for a different wedding-related piece of news; British media are reporting that the 7-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring George bought for Amal might be subject to a large UK tax bill.
Clooney proposed at his home in California, but when Amal returned to London with the ring on her finger, questions over the VAT tax on the ring were raised. The law applies to British travelers who return from non-EU countries. George will likely have to pay a customs duty and import VAT on the ring.
The U.S. value of the fee would be just over $17,000, a small price to pay for multi-millionaire George Clooney.