George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon

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The Earl of Carnarvon
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Arms of the Earl of Carnarvon.svg
Born George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert
(1956-11-10) 10 November 1956 (age 60)
Title Earl of Carnarvon
Tenure 10 September 2001 – present
Other titles Lord Porchester (1987-2001)
Nationality British
Residence Highclere Castle
Predecessor Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon
Heir George Herbert, Lord Porchester
Spouse(s) Jayne Wilby
(m. 1989; div. 1998)

Fiona Aitken
(m. 1999)
Issue Lady Saoirse Herbert
George Herbert, Lord Porchester
The Hon. Edward Herbert
Parents Henry 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 10 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)

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 Lady Carnarvon is a historian who has written a biography of her predecessor, Almina, Countess of Carnarvon.[3]

Lord Carnarvon's uncle, his mother's brother, Hon. Malcolm Wallop, a rancher in Wyoming, served three terms in the United States Senate.[4]




  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. ^ 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