George Harrison and Pattie Boyd’s relationship began at the height of Beatlemania. The pair navigated fame, fans, and the early days of marriage all at once. Because of Harrison’s level of fame, the couple had a difficult time doing normal things. Boyd explained that he didn’t like when people recognized him, so they rarely left the house. She believed that this made them both feel detached from reality.
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison were married for over ten years
When Boyd first met Harrison while filming A Hard Day’s Night, she was in another relationship.
“I had a one day shoot. The train went down to Cornwall and back, so it took like eight hours all together. And then at the end when we got near Waterloo station, George asked me out,” Boyd said, per Yahoo News. “He asked me if I’d go out with him that night. And I said no. I couldn’t, because I was seeing my boyfriend.”
Luckily, they saw each other again at a photo shoot, and Boyd welcomed his advances. She’d left her boyfriend in the time since they’d last met.
“I told my girlfriends and they said, ‘You’re completely mad! How could you turn him down?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, what I was thinking,'” she said. “Then, luckily, there was another chance to meet up with The Beatles, when we were called back for a photo shoot. I think Dick Lester must’ve organized that, because if that hadn’t happened, I would never have seen George again. By that time, the boyfriend had gone. So I said yes.”
The pair wed in 1966 and remained married until 1977.
She didn’t feel that they were grounded in reality
Boyd explained that Harrison’s fame made him feel like he was missing out on something.
“He once told me that he felt something in life was evading him,” she wrote in the book Wonderful Tonight. “But he wouldn’t — perhaps couldn’t — go out and be normal.”
She explained that he preferred staying home to avoid the frenzied crowds. This distanced them from reality.
“George really didn’t like going out — he hated being recognized — so we stayed in that great house and became gradually detached from reality,” she wrote. “We didn’t listen to the radio because George wouldn’t let us, and we didn’t have newspapers, and the people who came to see us were either musicians or worked for Apple.”
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison went on to marry other people
The cracks in Boyd and Harrison’s relationship were beginning to show long before their 1977 divorce. Eric Clapton actively pursued Boyd, writing songs about her and even telling Harrison that he was in love with her. Harrison met his future wife, Olivia, in 1974.
Harrison and Olivia married in 1978 and remained together until his death in 2001. Boyd and Clapton married in 1979 and divorced in 1989. In 2015, she married her longtime boyfriend Rod Weston in a quiet ceremony.