George Harrison and Pattie Boyd married in 1966 and remained together until their divorce in 1977. However, long before their marriage officially ended, the couple realized the cracks in their relationship were widening into irreconcilable problems. At a New Year’s Eve party in 1974, surrounded by her friends, Harrison told Boyd that they should get a divorce.
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd married in 1966
Harrison asked Boyd to marry him the first day they met, but his formal proposal came on Christmas 1965.
“We were driving around in the car listening to the radio when suddenly, very calmly, he told me he loved me and wanted us to get married,” Boyd said, according to the book Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison by Joshua M Greene. “I think I just said yes or some nonsense like that. But believe me, inside I was cartwheeling. We were really very much in love.”
Harrison asked Beatles manager Brian Epstein if it was okay for the couple to get married. He gave them permission to marry in January. Three weeks later, Harrison and Boyd were married at a registry office in England.
He told her that they should divorce in the new year
In the 1970s, the couple’s marriage ran into troubled waters. According to Boyd, they hardly spoke and Harrison grew increasingly cold towards her. She began having an affair with Eric Clapton and he had one with Ringo Starr’s wife Maureen Starkey. Despite this, they attended the same social events.
In late 1973, Boyd headed to a New Year’s Eve party hosted by Starr. She had intended to go with Harrison, but he left her when she forgot something upstairs. Even though they were going to the same event, she had to take a separate car.
“I got in my car and drove to Ringo’s, but there was heavy fog around Ascot and so much traffic that nobody could see and we hardly moved,” she wrote in the book Wonderful tonight. “Suddenly all the cars stopped because it was midnight and everyone got out of their cars to wish each other a Happy New Year – complete strangers hugged.”
The merriment of the night vanished as soon as Boyd arrived at the party.
“When I finally got there, George said, ‘Let’s get divorced this year,'” she wrote. “On our wedding anniversary, January 21, 1974, I wrote in my journal, ‘Wedding anniversary. To kid!'”
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd reconciled after their divorce
Boyd and Harrison divorced in 1977, three years after the party. After that Boyd married Clapton and Harrison married Olivia Harrison. Though their marriage didn’t end well, Harrison and Boyd reconciled after he wrote her a note that read, “E+P God Bless Us All, love from G.”
“George’s note was like a forgiveness,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “It meant a lot to me. I didn’t feel good about leaving him and it showed me that he was happy. It was like the pain was finally accepted and healed.”
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