Britain Won't Let Kelly Clarkson Take Its Treasures

Kelly Clarkson's bought one of Jane Austen's old rings. The British government doesn't want her to have it.

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Kelly Clarkson's Jane Austen fandom is an affront to British history. All the pop superstar wants to do is cosplay as Jane somewhere in Texas with a gold-and-turquoise ring once owned by the renowned author, which Clarkson bought, fair and square, at auction last year. But British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has put an export bar on the piece of jewelry, reports the Associated Press, meaning Clarkson cannot take it out of the UK.

Vaizey is apparently hoping that someone British will come and buy the ring from Clarkson so that the "simple but elegant ring can be saved for the nation." ("Saved for the nation"?? What does he think Kelly's going to do, melt it down and turn it into a belt buckle?) The ring, The Guardian's Sam Jones writes, is one of only three remaining pieces of jewelry that we know belonged to Austen. Clarkson, for what it's worth, is okay with selling the ring, which she purchased for over £150,000, so maybe she's not that big an Austen fan. (Not as big as Keri Russell, at least.) The export bar lasts until September 30, but can be extended to December 30 if it looks like someone is collecting the money to buy the ring.

Exporting the ring has long been a problem for Clarkson, who told the Daily Star in October that she got up at 4 a.m. to start bidding for it. Despite all the trouble, the conflict doesn't seem to have curtailed Clarkson's Anglophilia any. "Y’all live in such a beautiful place," she told the Daily Star.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.