The focus is on Mrs Clooney’s dresses and wedding ring. Isn’t her day job more important?
Human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin has been making a lot of headlines. Not for her legal work, but for being ‘the one’ to capture Hollywood leading man George Clooney’s heart and officially take him off the singles’ market.
With the wedding over, one would think that marked the end of the media frenzy. But no. Alamuddin, a member of Doughty Street Chambers in London - she has advised former UN secretary general Kofi Annan on Syria and represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in European arrest warrant proceedings - continues to make headlines thanks to her dress sense.
(Her ‘impeccable’ wedding style ‘left onlookers breathless’, according to one US showbiz correspondent.)
And this week the barrister arrived in Greece to a camera-flash fanfare normally reserved for Hollywood stars themselves. The bizarre events overshadowed the fact she was on serious business in the country to try and secure the return of the Elgin Marbles to Athens.
The marbles - also known as the Parthenon sculptures - were obtained by Britain (via Lord Elgin) between 1801 and 1805, amid fears they would be destroyed by peasants at the Parthenon. They have been housed at the British Museum since 1816 after being bought by the UK government. Greece wants them back; the issue has generated several volumes of learned argument over the past few decades.
But the Daily Mail led with: ‘Dressed in a simple white cardigan and khaki trousers, the new Mrs Clooney was spotted chatting happily to British Airways staff,’ and commented on 'one of the most glamorous celebrity weddings of all time' accompanied by 26 - yes, twenty-six - images of Amal (plus a mere two of the marbles). Even the normally more austere Daily Telegraph couldn’t resist a quartet of glossy snaps of the smiling lawyer.
Alamuddin’s brain, another showbiz correspondent has said (after commenting on the barrister’s ‘gorgeous, amazing legs’), ‘speaks volumes’. Undoubtedly the media will be paying much closer attention to Alamuddin’s work now that she has become a member of ‘Hollywood royalty’.
We know this, of course, from experience thanks to one Cherie Booth QC.
While not a Hollywood wife, the barrister was thrown into the spotlight when her husband was elected prime minister in 1997. Who can forget the photo of Mrs Blair when she opened her front door the morning after Labour’s election victory, in her nightwear, to receive a bunch of flowers?
It was clearly a sign of things to come as she continued to make headlines (she still does – though most recently for leaving Matrix Chambers, the barristers chambers she helped to start 14 years ago, to focus on her legal advisory practice Omnia Strategy).
But why does the scrutiny, it seems, apply only to women of the law? When human rights lawyer Jason McCue – husband of journalist and TV presenter Mariella Frostrup – was named ‘Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice’ at the Law Society Excellence Awards in 2009, I don’t recall seeing tabloid pictures of him the following day.
The media’s fascination with Alamuddin will no doubt continue. A glance at recent headlines suggests Alamuddin is giving the Duchess of Cambridge a run for her money in the fashion stakes (and winning).
No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more of Alamuddin, or, I should say Clooney after seeing numerous reports earlier this week that Ms Alamuddin's name had been amended to 'Amal Clooney' on her profile page on Doughty Street Chambers' website.
But let’s hear it for the men as well.
Monidipa Fouzder is Gazette staff writer and sub-editor