Pattie Boyd met George Harrison in 1964 on the set of the A Hard Day’s Night film. They married on 21st January 1966.
We got on a train at Marylebone Station one day and the train took off – and suddenly we were in a film! And in the film there were little schoolgirls in gym-slips, who were actually models, and we were quite fascinated with them – George even married one: Pattie Boyd.
She was born Patricia Anne Boyd on 17 March 1944, in Taunton, Somerset. The eldest of four siblings, Boyd attended convent boarding schools until 1961, and moved to London the following year.
Boyd began modeling in 1962, but was rejected by many photographers because of her unusual looks. She went on to model in London, New York and Paris, and was photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan; Twiggy later said she based her look on Boyd’s.
Boyd met George Harrison in 1964, when she was 19, after being cast as a schoolgirl fan in the film A Hard Day’s Night. At the time she was in a relationship with another man, Eric Swayne, and initially declined Harrison’s request for a date.
On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen. At a break for lunch I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.
One of the first things he said to her was “Will you marry me?” When she laughed, Harrison said, “Well, if you won’t marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?” Several days later, again on the film set, he asked her out once more and she accepted, having by then ended her relationship with Swayne.
Their first date took place at the Garrick Club, a private gentlemen’s club in Covent Garden, London. Also present was The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, as Boyd later recounted in her 2007 autobiography Wonderful Tonight.
I didn’t resent [Brian’s] presence on our first date – he was good company and seemed to know everything about wine, food and restaurants.
And perhaps if George and I, two young, shy people, had been on our own in such a grown-up restaurant, it would have been too intense.
As it was, we had a lovely evening and sat side by side on a banquette listening to Brian, hardly daring to touch each other’s hand.
Boyd and Harrison quickly became an item, and in May 1964 they went on holiday to Tahiti for four weeks with John and Cynthia Lennon. It was an attempt to escape from the pressures of Beatlemania, and each of them traveled under a false name – Boyd was Miss Bond, the girlfriend of Mr Hargreaves.
Cynthia and Pattie had long black wigs which they wore as disguises. John and I put their wigs on, and our oilskin macs, and made a little 8mm film about natives on an island with a missionary, John, who comes out of the ocean to convert them.