A large portion of the world's female population issued a loud cry of envy this week when it was confirmed that actor George Clooney had become engaged to lawyer Amal Alamuddin. It wasn't the coupling that came as a shock - the pair are said to have dated since last October - but the fact that the seemingly eternal bachelor and self-confessed anti-marriage movie star had decided to commit to someone he has barely been dating for more than six months.

George Clooney
It's Official: George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin Are Engaged.

The dashing Gravity actor is well aware of his female appeal and has rattled through a string of girlfriends and one wife to land his reputation for noncommittal womanising. He even ruled in 1995 that he wouldn't wed again because he "wasn't very good at it" and reportedly split from previous girlfriend, the former wrestler Stacy Keibler, because she allegedly wanted more from him than he felt comfortable giving.

More: Stacy Keibler pregnant with Jared Pobre's child.

So what on Earth has changed? Top human rights barrister Alamuddin bucks the Cloonster's trend of dating celebs but that doesn't mean that this union is any less newsworthy. A quick glance over the human rights superstar's Doughtry Street Chambers profile tells us that not only is this Beirut-born beauty Oxford educated, but has written a hard-hitting book on Lebanese law, is fluent in French and Arabic and has represented some impressive clients in court, including Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Clooney and Alamuddin may not have publically acknowledged their engagement but Doughtry Street have been quick to congratulate their most famous employee. "The barristers and staff of Doughty Street Chambers offer their best wishes and congratulations to Ms. Amal Alamuddin, a member of Chambers, and Mr. George Clooney on their engagement to be married," Amal's firm said in a statement, reported by Reuters.

Stacy Keibler George Clooney
Clooney With His Ex, The Former Wrestler Stacy Keibler.

The engagement represents a shift in Clooney's desires in women; the younger Clooney enjoyed his share of models, actresses and cocktail waitresses but perhaps George at 52 needs someone he can have meaningful and intelligent conversation with, particularly after the initial lust has died down.

More: Amal Alamuddin brings "bright light" to everything she does.

Rather than date someone who craves the attention of the media glare, Clooney may have deliberately sought someone who instead gets their kick out of making the world a better place. Therefore, it's perhaps beside the point that Amal was voted the "hottest barrister in London" by blog Your Barrister Boyfriend but such physical attributes are helpful when looking to bag a Hollywood hottie.

George Cloon Berlinale
Having A Lawyer For A Wife Will Prove Wholly Beneficial For The Philanthropic Star.

What's more, Clooney has been devoting a great deal of his time in recent years to the Satellite Sentinel Project, a non-profit organisation that uses satellite imagery to detect and deter human rights atrocities across the globe.

It goes without saying therefore, that having an extremely clued-up human rights lawyer on his side will be highly beneficial for the philanthropic movie star.

More: George Clooney's friends and family react to engagement.

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