Pattie Boyd knew dating a Beatle would be interesting, but she had no idea it would come with strange restrictions. The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, had a very specific vision for the band. She and George Harrison had to follow along. However, the manager's most confusing request came before their nuptials.
The Beatles' manager chaperoned Pattie Boyd and George Harrison's first date
It was love at first sight for Boyd and George. They met on the set of The Beatles' first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, in 1964. The first thing George said to the model and actress was, "Will you marry me?"
She just giggled, thinking George was kidding. He was the "best-looking" man she'd ever seen, but she also had a boyfriend. So, she turned the guitarist down. When Boyd's friends heard she'd turned down a Beatle, she reconsidered her relationship with her boyfriend. Eventually, she broke up with him and told George, who immediately asked her out.
The couple went to the Garrick Club in Covet Garden that night, and Epstein tagged along to chaperone. According to Far Out Magazine, Boyd said, "I didn't resent his [Brian Epstein's] presence on our first date—he was good company and seemed to know everything about wine, food, and London restaurants," Boyd said. "And perhaps if George and I, two very young, very shy people, had been on our own in such a grown-up restaurant, it would have been too intense."
However, Boyd quickly realized that her first date with George wouldn't be the strangest thing to happen in their relationship. Boyd told Harper’s Bazaar that being a Beatle girlfriend was initially difficult. No one prepared her. "The only thing Brian Epstein, their manager, told me and the other wives and girlfriends was, 'Don't talk to the press,'" she said.
Boyd soon discovered that her boyfriend's fans weren't just passionate; some were violent. She was attacked coming out of a theater once. However, she loved George and was committed to their relationship.
George had to ask Epstein for permission to marry Boyd
Dating George was a challenge, but Boyd was dedicated. The couple did everything together and had some privacy, living at George's Surrey home, Kinfauns. Eventually, George couldn't imagine his life without Boyd. He proposed to her on Christmas day 1965 while the couple drove to a party at Epstein's house.
Boyd, of course, said yes. However, when they got to Epstein's home, George quickly got out of the car and told Boyd he had to consult his manager first. A few minutes later, George returned and told Boyd it was alright. Epstein said they could marry that January.
Epstein forbade Boyd to reveal she and George were marrying
When George proposed to Boyd in the car on Christmas day, Epstein had already been a key figure in their relationship. He played an even bigger role even after George asked for permission to marry his future wife.
Boyd told the Observer that she and George's upcoming nuptials were kept a secret from the press at the request of Epstein. "The Beatles' manager Brian had this thing in his head that he didn't want the Beatles' fans to know when they were getting married," she explained. "I couldn't tell anyone, so I just went to a department store and got a dress."
Boyd said she chose a red dress instead of a white one, which didn't draw suspicion. The only person who knew about the wedding apart from family was British fashion designer Mary Quant, who made Boyd and George coats for the occasion.
George and Boyd married on Jan. 21, 1966, in a private ceremony at a local registry office in Surrey. George's fellow Beatle, Paul McCartney, served as best man. However, it's unclear whether Epstein's precautions worked. There were photographers there, and they snapped many photos of the happy newlyweds.
After their wedding, George and Boyd honeymooned in Barbados, away from the press, fans, and even Epstein. For once, he wasn't chaperoning or keeping a watchful eye. Epstein's intentions were good, but the couple treaded without their third wheel from then on.
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