Pattie Boyd and George Harrison divorced in 1977, but their relationship had effectively been over for years. Before they were legally separated, Boyd had begun a relationship with Eric Clapton. Though Boyd said Harrison was cold to her toward the end of their relationship, he was hurt and lonely after their marriage fell apart. One Christmas, he visited Clapton and Boyd unannounced and joined them.
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd divorced in 1977
After infidelity on both sides and a growing distance between Boyd and Harrison, he told her that he wanted to end their marriage. He dropped the news at a New Year’s Eve party. Boyd was late, and he told her once she arrived.
“When I finally arrived George said, ‘Let’s have a divorce this year,'” she wrote in the book Wonderful Tonight. “On our wedding anniversary, January 21, 1974, I wrote in my diary: ‘Wedding anniversary. Joke!'”
He dropped in unexpectedly on Christmas
Clapton and Boyd had an affair, but they began publicly dating once her marriage to Harrison broke down. Despite this, Harrison and Clapton remained friends. One Christmas, he arrived at the house unannounced. Harrison, who was a vegetarian, berated Boyd for eating meat.
“That Christmas we had turkey, and as we were sitting down to it at Hurtwood Edge, George burst in, uninvited,” she wrote. “He was horrified to see me eating meat and berated me — but then we laughed and he had some Christmas pudding with us, and some wine, and it wasn’t awkward at all. I couldn’t believe how friendly he and Eric were toward each other.”
Later, Boyd realized that Harrison came by because he was lonely.
“He came over to see what we were up to,” she wrote. “And the sad thing was, I realized later, he wasn’t doing anything on Christmas Day and must have been lonely. I know he was hurt and angry that I left him, but not long afterward, he met Olivia Arias, and from then on things were easier all round.”
Harrison married Olivia Harrison in 1978. They remained together until Harrison’s death in 2001. Boyd married Clapton in 1979, and the couple divorced in 1989, after a decade of marriage.
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd repaired their relationship
While the end of Harrison and Boyd’s relationship was tense, they grew far friendlier after their divorce. She even visited the home they had once shared together, where he now lived with Olivia and their son, Dhani.
“When I went back to Friar Park sometime later, when Dhani, their son, was about six, I was interested to see that the house was as I had left it,” she wrote. “George asked how I felt, coming back to my old home. He hoped I wasn’t uncomfortable.”
She explained that she still dreams about him.
“I would dream he was alive and I would say to him, ‘Oh George, it’s so wonderful that you’re alive after all, this is so fabulous; I knew they had all made a mistake,'” she wrote. “Some dreams can be incredibly vivid and so very real and then I would wake up and within the first couple of seconds I would think he was alive, and then that wave of reality would wash over me as I became more conscious.”
Boyd was able to visit Harrison before his death.