On the day that the other Beatles flew to Hawaii, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox began their journey to the Virgin Islands. On this day they flew to Lisbon, Portugal, where they caught a connecting flight the following day.
The Beatles’ holiday was to be gloriously private. We hired a company and told them we wanted a fool-proof secret route plotting for four young men and three girlfriends and a wife. The men, we explained, would travel in pairs, the girls one pair, two singles. We wanted two destinations, at which two sets of couples would link up.
None of the arrangements were to be made by phone, and code names were created for the eight. Mr McCartney was Mr Manning; Mr Starr was Mr Stone. Their companions were to be Miss Ashcroft and Miss Cockcroft. Mr Lennon was Mr Leslie; and his wife, Mrs Leslie. Mr Harrison was Mr Hargreaves, and his girlfriend became Miss Bond. Manning and Stone, Ashcroft and Cockcroft were to holiday in the Virgin Islands; the Leslies, Hargreaves and Bond would go to Tahiti.
They flew from Luton Airport first to Paris, then on to Lisbon, where they spent the night in the Ritz Hotel.
The funny part was that we’d been given John’s and George’s passports, and they’d been given ours. It was still: ‘Oh, it’s just one of them, give them any passport; they’re all the same.’ Somehow we got to Lisbon and were checking into hotel; Paul was wearing a disguise and the guy at reception said, ‘Who’s that?’ looking at the passport suspiciously, ‘That’s not you.’