George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon

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The Earl of Carnarvon
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Herbert arms (Earl of Carnavon).svg
BornGeorge Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert
(1956-11-10) 10 November 1956 (age 62)
TitleEarl of Carnarvon
Tenure11 September 2001 – present
Other titlesLord Porchester (1987–2001)
ResidenceHighclere Castle
PredecessorHenry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon
HeirGeorge Herbert, Lord Porchester
Jayne Wilby
(m. 1989; div. 1998)

Fiona Aitken (m. 1999)
IssueLady Saoirse Herbert
George Herbert, Lord Porchester
The Hon. Edward Herbert
ParentsHenry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon
Jean Margaret Wallop

George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon (born 10 November 1956), styled Lord Porchester from 1987 to 2001, is a British peer and arable farmer.

His family seat, Highclere Castle, has achieved notability as the primary filming location for the television series Downton Abbey. Carnarvon and his family live in part of the house, while the rest is used as a venue for hire and is also open to the public.

Early life[edit]

The son of Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, and a godson of Queen Elizabeth II,[1] Herbert was educated at Eton and St John's College, Oxford.

He succeeded to the title of Earl of Carnarvon when his father died on 11 September 2001. After the death in 2003 of the 17th Earl of Pembroke, a distant cousin, he also became heir to the Earldoms of Pembroke and Montgomery, held by patrilineal cousin, William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, and is currently third in line.


Lord Carnarvon married Jayne M. Wilby on 16 December 1989, daughter of racehorse owner Kenneth A. Wilby and Frances Loftus (remarried to Prince Prospero Colonna di Stigliano). They divorced in 1998. They had two children:

  • Lady Saoirse Herbert (born 2 June 1991)
  • George Kenneth Oliver Molyneux Herbert, Lord Porchester (born 13 October 1992) – the heir to the titles

Then, on 18 February 1999, he married Fiona J. M. Aitken, daughter of Ronnie Aitken and Frances Farmer; they had one son:

  • Hon. Edward Herbert (born 10 October 1999).[2]

The current Countess of Carnarvon is a historian who has written two biographies about her predecessors, the first of her husband's grandmother, Almina, Countess of Carnarvon[3] and the second about her in-laws.[4]

Lord Carnarvon's maternal uncle, Hon. Malcolm Wallop, a rancher in Wyoming, served three terms in the United States Senate.[5]



  1. ^ "'Nappy and glorious'". Daily Mail. London. 1 June 2012.
  2. ^ "George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon". thepeerage. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ Robertson, Peter (19 October 2012). "My haven: Fiona, the 8th Countess, in the drawing room at Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey". Daily Mail. London.
  4. ^ ({cite}
  5. ^ Pickett, Mary - "Downton Abbey" Close to Wyoming Rancher's Heart", Billings Gazette, January 11, 2013.[1]

External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Henry Herbert
Earl of Carnarvon
Succeeded by