It was love at first sight for Pattie Boyd and Beatle guitarist George Harrison. For a while, it seemed as if they lived the perfect rock 'n' roll romance. However, their relationship was far from perfect. Into the 1970s, their marriage broke down, and Boyd left George for his friend Eric Clapton. The model and actress never stopped loving her first husband, though. If she could have one last conversation with anyone, it would be with George.
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison had a complex marriage
Boyd and George first clapped eyes on each other on the set of The Beatles' first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, in 1964. George asked her to marry him that same day. She was dating someone, but when she told her friends that a Beatle had asked for her hand, their reaction prompted her to reevaluate her relationship.
Boyd left her boyfriend and told George, who immediately asked her out. The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein chaperoned their first date. Shortly after, the pair became inseparable. It wasn't always fun, though, dating a Beatle.
Boyd often felt uncomfortable going out in public. Fans attacked her after coming out of the theater once. Accompanying George and The Beatles on a trip to the U.S. was frightening for her. Many people wanted to talk to both of them, but Boyd was shy. Still, she loved George and was committed to making their relationship work. The couple tied the knot in 1966 and bonded over many things, including spirituality.
However, cracks started to appear in their marriage into the late 1960s. George became increasingly interested in spirituality and started to leave Boyd behind. She felt left out and started seeking the comfort of Clapton, who once described himself as a lone wolf, and the Lancelot in his love triangle with Boyd and George.
Eventually, Boyd left George for Clapton. She was sick of George blocking her out and his alleged infidelities. The complex thing about their split was that George told her to go. He was unusually calm about it and was happy that Boyd left him for someone he knew and trusted.
Boyd and George kept in touch after their divorce
Following their split and subsequent divorce, Boyd and George remained friends. Even after George met and married his second wife, Olivia, they continued their friendship.
When Boyd and Clapton finally tied the knot in 1979, George affectionately introduced himself to guests as the "husband-in-law." Later, Boyd told The Age that she considered George the true love of her life. She's not sure if she regrets leaving him, though.
"Eric and I went to a party once," Boyd said. "And George, bless him, was there with Olivia (Arias, his second wife). I said to George, 'Darling, do you think I made a big mistake in leaving you?' And he said, 'No, no...' I thought that was terribly sweet and generous of him to admit he had been behaving badly, and that he didn't hold it against me that I left him."
Boyd said George was "a soulmate," while Clapton was "a playmate." She continued, "George and I kind of grew up spiritually together. Very important parts of our lives were shared. He was always fond of me. There was part of him that always loved me, and me him. That we weren't married or together didn't really matter."
If Boyd could have one last conversation with anyone, it would be with George
During an interview with Big Issue, Boyd said she and George were good friends until George died in 2001. Only the former Beatle understood much of what Boyd was thinking about or remembering because they experienced many things together. "Just because things didn't work out as we planned, it didn't diminish our love for each other," Boyd added to People.
In the 1990s, Boyd visited George at his home, Friar Park. George returned the favor in the early 2000s, even though he was ill. They didn't talk about his cancer. Boyd thinks that George just wanted to catch up with her and see her one last time. He brought her little gifts, and they had tea and listened to music. "And when he left I thought, I'll never see him again," Boyd told Big Issue.
If Boyd could have one last conversation with anyone, it would be with George. He was her soulmate after all.
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