In 1964, Pattie Boyd began a relationship with George Harrison, one of the most famous people in the world at the time. Despite his level of celebrity, Boyd said that their relationship was relatively normal. At times, she even forgot that she was dating a famous musician. Still, she said that she had never met anyone like Harrison, which was partly due to his lifestyle.
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison met on the set of the first Beatles movie
Boyd was working as a model when she got the news that she had been cast in the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night. She was immediately attracted to Harrison, and he felt similarly — at the end of the first day of shooting, he asked her to marry him. When she laughed him off, he asked if she’d go to dinner with him. Boyd had a boyfriend at the time and turned him down.
As days passed, though, she realized she wanted to go on the date with him. At her friends’ urging, she broke up with her boyfriend ahead of the second day of shooting.
“I saw George again on March 12, a few days before my twentieth birthday,” she wrote in the book Wonderful Tonight. “He had turned twenty-one the month before. There was a press photo call at Twickenham Studios and each of us schoolgirls had to stand behind a Beatle and pretend to do their hair. I made a beeline for George. He seemed pleased to see me and asked how my boyfriend was. I told him I’d dumped him. He grinned and asked me to have dinner with him.”
She said that she had never met anyone like him
Boyd and Harrison quickly began dating. Beatlemania was heating up around the world, but she rarely felt as though she was dating a celebrity.
“I almost forgot that George was a famous pop star,” she wrote. “As far as I was concerned he was just my boyfriend — I saw the Beatles performing for the first time on Ready Steady Go! It was the pop show on television, presented by Cathy McGowan, and everyone watched it. There was George, doing what he did. I couldn’t believe he looked so different, almost as if he was in uniform. Until then I’d had no experience of people who adopted a stage persona that was entirely different from their private one.”
Boyd also said that she had never met anyone quite like Harrison. This was due in part to his celebrity status, even though he didn’t seem like a celebrity to her.
“I had never met anyone like George before, or experienced anything like the glamorous world he inhabited,” she wrote.
To Boyd, Harrison’s world felt very far from the small apartment that she shared with her friend.
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison married in 1966
After two years of dating, Boyd and Harrison married in a small, intimate ceremony at a registry office in Surrey.
“Not the most glamorous place, it was not the wedding I had dreamt of — I would have loved to be married in church, but Brian didn’t want a big fuss,” Boyd explained. “They all trusted him so implicitly that when he said it should be a quiet register office wedding George agreed. He also said it had to be secret — if the press found out, it would be chaotic.”
They remained together until 1977. Both Boyd and Harrison went on to marry other people.