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George Harrison‘s wife Olivia says she’s always been good friends with John Lennon‘s wife, Yoko Ono. The former Beatles’ might not have had the best relationship over the years, but their widows have stayed close. They’re the only two women in the world who knows what it’s like to be a widow of a Beatle.

Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison at the premiere of 'Concert for George' in 2003.
Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

George Harrison’s wife Olivia says she’s always been friends with Yoko Ono

As The Sunday Times points out, Yoko had been a widow for more than 20 years by the time George and Olivia discovered his terminal cancer.

Yoko might have gotten some unwarranted flack over the years from fans and the press, but Olivia has been friends with the visual artist for decades. Being the only widowed Beatle wives has bound the two soft-spoken women.

Olivia says she’s still friends with Yoko, “though I haven’t seen her in a long time. She’s not been very well recently, but she always befriended me … We didn’t spend a lot of time together, but she’s just magnificent.

“You know, we would sit in a board meeting together [the Apple Corps board, of which they are both directors], and she would take everyone completely out of this realm into another realm, which I loved. She’s the most disarming person.”

Olivia and Yoko know what it’s like to be a widow of a Beatle

Yoko knew what Olivia went through after George died in 2001.

“I received a call at three o’clock in the morning from Olivia,” Yoko wrote in a special edition of Rolling Stone called “Remembering George.” “I immediately knew what it was about. It reminded me of the calls I made when John passed away. It also reminded me of the sense of propriety and responsibility all of us Beatle women quietly share.

“Olivia is an intelligent and strong woman. But that doesn’t mean that she can take an enormous parting such as this. There are things you can never take, no matter how strong you are.”

In 2013, Yoko explained on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (per Ultimate Classic Rock) that being married to a Beatle is “the most difficult thing to be.”

“That’s why I have so much respect and love for the other Beatles’ wives. I think it’s more difficult than being a politician’s wife, because it’s endless. We have a position that is endless.”

Yoko also warned Olivia about what would happen following George’s death. After her husband died, Olivia “got very busy managing lots of things and the gardens and business and the people that, you know, change,” she told The Times. She didn’t mean people had dropped out of her life. 

“I think more the people who came in,” she said. “I did have to jettison a few. Yoko actually said to me, ‘You don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do.’ And she was right. There were people who had other ideas about how I should live my life. And I was pretty shocked by that.”


What George Harrison’s Wife Olivia Learned About Herself Following the Family’s 1999 Home Invasion

Paul McCartney says the pair are Beatles

Paul McCartney said he considers Olivia and Yoko Beatles since they took their husband’s places and have helped make decisions about the band.

“During the breakup was when it got screwed up – we did three against one,” Paul said (per Metro). “But now it has to be unanimous. The two girls are Beatles. We don’t have a veto.”

Together and separately, Olivia and Yoko have done a spectacular job safeguarding their husband’s legacies. It’s also good to know that they’ve stuck by each other during the times when it seemed the whole world was against them.