After almost ten years together, George and Amal Clooney seem like one of the most stable couples in Hollywood—and also one of the most glamourous. Before their marriage, George did not seem very interested in settling down, and Amal was making waves as an activist and human rights lawyer. After living their very separate lives, it’s now hard to imagine them apart.
Hands down, these two are one of the most gorgeous and inspirational couples in Hollywood. Here’s a look back at their epic romance.
George says he met Amal at his own house. In July of 2013, a friend of his asked if they could bring a friend to his home near Lake Como, Italy. They were passing through the country on the way to Cannes.
“A mutual friend of ours said, ‘I’m stopping by and can I bring my friend?’” George recalled. “And I was like, ‘Of course!’”
Apparently, a lot of people had a hunch they were meant to be, because George’s agent called him to say he should take this meetup seriously.
“I got a call from my agent who said, ‘I met this woman who is coming to your house, who you’re going to marry,’” George said. “It really worked out that way.”
He added, “The funniest thing was my mom and dad were visiting so my parents were there. And we just talked, we stayed up all night talking. And I got her email address, because she was going to send me some pictures of my parents. So we started writing. I didn’t know if she wanted to go out with me—I just thought we were buddies.”
George and Amal were spotted getting dinner together at Berners Tavern in London. At the time, he was there for Monuments Men‘s score recording at Abbey Road Studios as the film’s director. After months of emailing, George had realized they weren’t going to be just friends.
“That was a good first date,” George told The Hollywood Reporter of their outing. “We went for dinner. [Amal] said, ‘Let’s go to this place.’ It was one of those places that was incredibly hip and chic. And when we came out, there were 50 paparazzi there. But she handled it like a champ.”
He continued, “Pretty quickly, things escalated once I was in London.”
They spent Christmas that year together in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Early the next year, the new couple went on a trip that made the actor realize he wanted to spend his life with Amal.
“We went on a safari in Kenya. Amal loves giraffes; they’re her favorite animal. She went to this place called Giraffe Manor, where the giraffes stick their heads through the windows and kiss you. I had a picture of her, looking back, smiling at these giraffes and I said, ‘I think I’m going to ask her to marry me,’” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
George and Amal spent March of 2014 jet-setting together. The couple took a trip to the Seychelles and Tanzania then to New York City, where they reportedly stayed at the Carlyle Hotel. Later that month, they were spotted at Soho House in West Hollywood, California.
News broke that George had proposed to Amal. Later, he would describe the proposal as a “horrible” moment in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. George explained that he planned a romantic proposal and had cooked dinner for Amal, but that everything about his plans went wrong and the proposal ended up being a 25-minute long disaster.
“I did all the stuff, got down on my knee and did all the things you’re supposed to do. I had a playlist with my Rosemary [Clooney] songs on it, and I was waiting for this song, ‘Why Shouldn’t I?’ … And it played, and she’s like, ‘Holy shit!’ And she just kept staring at the ring, going, ‘Oh, my God.’ It was 20 minutes of me on my knee, waiting for her to say yes, because she was so shocked. She only said yes when ‘Goody, Goody’ came on, which isn’t very romantic—it’s kind of mean—‘So you met someone who set you back on your heels, goody, goody,’” George explained.
September 9, 2014
George and Amal made their public debut at the Celebrity Fight Night charity event in Tuscany, where Amal also showed off her seven-carat, emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.
September 27, 2014
George and Amal tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy, a country that is clearly close to both their hearts.
At the Celebrity Fight Night Gala in Florence, Italy, earlier in September, George accepted a Humanitarian Award, and talked a bit about the upcoming wedding.
“I met my lovely bride-to-be here in Italy, whom I will be marrying, in a couple of weeks, in Venice, of all places … I would just like to say to my bride-to-be, Amal, that I love you very much and I can’t wait to be your husband,” he said.
Years later, there are still few details about the wedding, but it was attended by Matt Damon, John Krasinski, and Emily Blunt as well as a few other intimate friends.
“We didn’t tell anybody else that we were going to do it, but eventually somebody figured it out. Oh, my God! Once people got wind of it, it became an event. We took a bus from here to Venice, then we got on a boat, and once we got on the boat, there were so many paparazzi and so many people standing there waiting. We were sitting down in the boat, and I was like, ‘You know what? Why are we hiding? Why are we ducking? We shouldn’t be ashamed of this.’ And we got up and waved,” the Ocean’s 11 actor said.
It was also reported that he wore a suit by Giorgio Armani and the bride was in Oscar de la Renta.
The couple honeymooned in “complete isolation” in their mansion in the English countryside. Us Weekly reported at the time that no one else was welcome on the property, not even family. But they did welcome caterers who delivered all their meals.
Amal accompanied George to the 72nd annual Golden Globes Awards, where he was receiving a lifetime achievement award, making their red carpet debut.
The couple canoodled in New York City on an adorable date night.
Amal visited George on the New York City set of his film Money Monster.
May 4, 2015
The couple attended their first Met Gala together in 2015.
May 9, 2015
George and Amal brought her niece, Mia, to the premiere of his film Tomorrowland in Anaheim, California.
May 10, 2015
In early May, George gushed that Amal had changed his life.
“All I know is that it sort of changed everything in terms of what I thought my future–my personal future–was going to be. But I’ve always been an optimist about the world. I wasn’t always completely optimistic about how it was going to work out personally for me. But now I am,” he shared.
However, during an interview with CBS This Morning, he admitted his world view hadn’t transformed to include kids just yet.
“I don’t really [think about it],” he said. “I mean, I’ve thought about it, I suppose, but it hasn’t been high on my list. I’ve been asked it a lot lately because I’ve gotten married and I’m doing a movie with kids in it.”
The Clooneys showed off lots of PDA at the Casamigos launch party in Ibiza.
George and Amal met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Chancellery to talk about refugee policy and Germany’s commitment to the International Rescue Committee.
George and Amal stunned at Cannes Film Festival at the premiere of Money Monster.
George and Amal attended a Leaders Summit for Refugees during the United Nations 71st session of the General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly.
They also celebrated their second wedding anniversary. The actor told E! that he cooked his wife a romantic dinner to celebrate on Sept. 27.
“It’s very big news. Very, very big celebration—fireworks…Okay, I made dinner,” he joked.
“I don’t think she’s ever quite impressed with my cooking,” he said. “If I slap something together—spaghetti and meatballs—she doesn’t know that it comes in a jar, so I can just fool her with that one.”
The couple hung out with Hugh Jackman at the MPTF 95th anniversary celebration with Hollywood’s Night Under The Stars in Los Angeles.
The couple established The Clooney Foundation For Justice.
The organization works on human rights abuses across the world with programs dedicated to fighting “systemic injustice against vulnerable communities: journalists, women and girls, democracy-defenders, LGBTQ persons and minorities.”
February 9, 2017
Julie Chen broke the news that George and Amal were expecting twins on her show The Talk.
“Here’s the truth of the matter,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “My husband and I saw George and Amal about almost three weeks ago and they casually mentioned that they were expecting twins. We were all like, ‘Is it a secret?’ and George kind of went, ‘No.’ But we didn’t feel right telling anybody.”
Later that month, George discussed it himself.
“We are really happy and really excited. It’s going to be an adventure,” the actor said while talking to Laurent Weil on the French program, Rencontres de Cinema. “We’ve sort of embraced it all… with arms wide open.”
A source told People at the time, “George is excited but nervous. He is excited about the kids, but also has the normal amount of nerves that come with being parents.”
February 24, 2017
George and Amal walked the red carpet at the Cesar Film Awards 2017.
June 6, 2017
George and Amal welcomed their twins, Ella and Alexander.
“This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander George into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days,” they said in a statement.
September 2, 2017
The couple made their first appearance after the birth of their twins at the Venice Film Festival.
September 6, 2017
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, George shared what it was like when they found out they were expecting twins.
“We just felt we’d gotten very lucky, both of us, and we should share whatever good luck we’ve got. It would seem self-centered to just have that belong to us,” he said. “He [the doctor] goes, ‘Well, there’s one.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ And then he goes, ‘And there’s the second one.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ We just sat there, staring at that piece of paper they give you, and I kept thinking there was a mistake.”
A lot of info about their relationship comes from George, given that he is an actor who is constantly on press tours. But in 2018, Amal opened up about her husband to Vogue.
“It felt like the most natural thing in the world,” she said of falling in love with him. “Before that experience, I always hoped there could be love that was overwhelming and didn’t require any weighing or decision-making. It’s the one thing in life that I think is the biggest determinant of happiness, and it’s the thing you have the least control over. Are you going to meet this person? I was 35 when I met him. It wasn’t obvious that it was going to happen for me. And I wasn’t willing or excited about the idea of getting married or having a family in the absence of that.”
May 19, 2018
Amal and George attend the wedding of their friends Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
“We live not too far from one another and we have dinners and stuff and we’re friends with them for all the reasons that you’re friends with anybody. They’re just really nice, fun, kind people. They’re a very loving couple,” he told the Daily Mail.
Amal shared even more during a speech at the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award Gala, as George was honored with an AFI Life Achievement Award.
“I met George when I was 35 and starting to become quite resigned to the idea that I was going to be a spinster,” she said. “Then we met and started hiding out in my London flat and very soon it felt like, no matter what happened, I would never want to be with anyone else. I couldn’t sleep when we were apart. And I am told I would display a particular grin and head tilt when reading his text messages or the letters that he would hide in my bag. Five years later, none of that has changed. He is the person who has my complete admiration and also the person whose smile makes me melt every time.”
May 6, 2019
By now, George has definitely settled into being a family man, and he described his 58th birthday with his family on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying, “I turned 58, nothing’s fun. I had a good day though. My wife and I had dinner just the two of us at home, which was really nice. But my wife has been, for the last year, working literally every single day with a gentleman named Steven Adler, who runs Reuters, and a brilliant lawyer named Gail Gove to get and to free the Reuters journalists from Myanmar. A year of working on it, and last night they walked out of prison. So we were very happy.”
Like many people that year, the family isolated together. Their son, Alexander, has asthma and they ended up spending most of the year lockdown in their Los Angeles home.
“This has been a crappy year for everyone. Started badly and ran badly all year long, until recently…But I’m very lucky. I ended up having a successful career. I wound up living in a home with some space in it. We can walk around outside … My son has asthma. They say it’s not so bad on young people. But do we know that? We don’t know anything about the long term of this yet,” George shared.
They managed to get through lockdown together, perhaps because they never fight, according to George.
“I feel very lucky in so many ways to have met her. We haven’t ever had an argument. You know, everybody’s been slammed together because of the coronavirus and a lot of friends’ relationships have been tested. For us, it’s been really easy,” he said in a profile with People.
February 8, 2022
The couple accepted an award together, after many years of individual award ceremonies, by the Elevate Prize Foundation. Their work with the Clooney Foundation for Justice was honored with the Catalyst Award, for “social change.” The prize included an award for $250,000.
“One of the Elevate Prize Foundation’s core values is human safety and freedom–a goal we share at the Clooney Foundation for Justice as we work to free the innocent and punish the guilty, waging justice one case at a time … Our goal at the foundation is to free the innocent and punish the guilty. I think we’re both inspired by the young people out there challenging injustice in their communities, a new generation that won’t accept the status quo,” George said during their shared acceptance speech.
Amal added, “The funding we receive from this award will support our TrialWatch program, which monitors criminal trials around the world and defends individuals who are unjustly detained, including journalists, women, LGBTQ persons and minorities.”
In an interview with Time magazine published on March 2, Amal shared a bit more about life at home.
“Marriage has been wonderful,” she said. “I have in my husband a partner who is incredibly inspirational and supportive, and we have a home filled with love and laughter.”
The twins, Ella and Alexander, are apparently a joy to parent, and Amal gushed about how much more wonderful it’s been than she expected.
“It is a joy beyond anything I could ever have imagined,” said Amal. “I feel so lucky to have found a great love in my life, and to be a mother—this is how I get my balance.”
George told Entertainment Tonight that his five-year-old twins might want to be actor, but he thinks they’re destined for more.
“They can do whatever they want,” he said. “My guess is that they’re a little smarter than me, so, they’ll probably do something—they already speak three languages, so, I’m still working on English.”
Later, he joked with CBS Mornings host Gayle King, “We’ve made a terrible mistake. We taught them Italian. But we don’t speak Italian, so we’ve armed them with a language they can harm us with. And we both don’t really know what they’re saying.”
The couple attend the premiere of Ticket to Paradise together, George’s movie with friend and co-star Julia Roberts.
December 3, 2022
They make another red carpet appearance at the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors, where George, Amy Grant, Tania León, Gladys Knight, and U2, were all awarded for lifetime achievements.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.