How New Parents George and Amal Clooney Nested in England Ahead of Their Twins' Arrival
George and Amal Clooney spent a good deal of time at their English country home as they geared up to welcome twins Ella and Alexander
The Clooney twins — Ella and Alexander, born the morning of Tuesday, June 6 — have a beautiful English mansion to call home!
When they weren’t jet-setting around the world, new parents George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney were spending time quietly nesting in their renovated English mansion in the countryside west of London. (The international human rights lawyer has a home in London, and her mother, Baria, lives in the city too.)
Leading up to the twins’ birth, George was often “heard playing tennis against his ball machine” and working late into the night in his garden cabin, a source told PEOPLE in May.
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George and Amal have been balancing work with putting the finishing touches on their home — and spending quality time together. In April, the duo were spotted out and about, strolling hand-in-hand near their estate. They were dressed casually for the outing, with Amal in fitted jeans, a green jacket over her baby bump, aviator sunglasses, a black hat, a gray scarf and walking shoes.
One couple who have visited the Clooneys as they prepared for their new little ones: Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber, who poked fun at pal George by gifting the then-parents-to-be with onesies reading “CASA” and “MIGOS” — a reference to a joke the actor made about his and Gerber’s tequila company Casamigos.
“My wife says I can’t name them Casa and Amigos. That’s the one thing I’m not allowed to do,” he told Entertainment Tonight in March. “It was just a thought. I mean, you know, it’s a family business.”
During a February trip to Paris — a “romantic weekend,” Amal told French reporters as she attended the 42nd César Awards to support her husband — the couple paid a discreet visit to Baudou, a small, family-run furniture showroom in the city.
“She was looking exclusively at cribs and nursery furniture,” a staffer told PEOPLE of Amal, referring to the attorney, 39, as “very friendly and very, very elegant.”
The staffer added that “The visit was brief — maybe 20 minutes — but she took information and said she’d be in touch” and said of George, 56, “[He] asked some questions, wanted to know a few details. He was very nice, really simple, very easy. He was in jeans and a jacket, like any other expectant father we see on the weekend.”
“We decided to be much more responsible, to avoid the danger,” the actor said in February. “I won’t go to South Sudan any more or the Congo, Amal will no longer go to Iraq and she’ll avoid places where she knows she isn’t welcome.”
The Clooneys have been using their mansion much more since Amal’s pregnancy. They spent the holidays there and were spotted shortly after taking a stroll along the quaint English town, which sits on the bank of the River Thames. Amal wore a loose-fitting sweater to hide her growing baby bump while the couple kept the pregnancy under wraps.
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“[We’re] really excited – I love it,” George told Good Morning Britain about the home in 2015. “We’re going to have a great time. There’s a great old pub and there’s a great restaurant, The French Horn, there, and it’s a really beautiful, fun place to be. I’m really excited.”
The couple bought their Georgian-style home shortly after their September 2014 Venice wedding and completed extensive renovations on it two years later. They added a pool and a garden terrace to the grounds and a theater room to the house.
The Clooneys hired interior designer Hannah Cork to redecorate a few rooms in the mansion. “They looked at my portfolio and we exchanged emails before we had a conference call on Skype,” Cork told Exclusives.
“They wanted to make it comfortable so they could spend time there before the big renovation. I visited the property, put together some Pinterest boards for them with ideas, and they said I’d hit the nail on the head.”
Cork redecorated two living rooms for the couple, including the one located upstairs “where the couple wanted to relax cozily in private.”
The secluded town full of Victorian homes is friendly toward high-profile residents who want to hide away from the bustle of London. Other famous residents include Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Prime Minister Theresa May before she moved to 10 Downing St.
While the couple’s current home base may be their English mansion, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. As George told Paris Match, he and Amal have the opportunity for their twins to be quite worldly — just like their parents.
“We have the chance to live between three countries: Italy, America and England,” he said, referring to the houses they own in each country. “But as soon as the children go to school, it’ll be necessary to choose where to settle. In the meantime, we will continue to move according to our respective schedules.”
“People think we’re never together, but we have not been separated for more than a week,” he added.
The Clooneys’ friends have made it clear they didn’t need a lot of advice as they prepped to become first-time parents. As George’s Ocean’s and Money Monster costar Julia Roberts told Ellen DeGeneres in mid May, she had given them tips but “they are a great couple, and they don’t need advice from me or anybody else.”
Longtime friend and fellow actor Matt Damon made similar comments in February, telling DeGeneres, “I don’t know how anybody does twins. Those sleepless nights, and then there’s two of them. Like, there’s just no way. But we’ll see what happens.”
Though no one can fully prepare for parenthood until they experience it themselves, George did admit in March that he has one skill down. “I know swaddling. I know what I’m in for,” he told Extra.