George Harrison was married to Pattie Boyd, an English model, and photographer. As one of the most prominent international models of the 1960s, she, along with Jean Shrimpton, epitomized the 1960s British feminine “look.” Not only were other popular models of the time, such as Twiggy, significantly influenced by her appearance, but she also served as inspiration for designer Ossie Clark, who named several of his designs ‘Pattie’. She had traveled to India twice, once with her husband and once with the Beatles, and was largely responsible for the Beatles’ interest in Indian spirituality. Boyd, who was married to guitarist Eric Clapton for a decade after her divorce from George Harrison, inspired Harrison’s songs ‘I Need You,’ ‘If I Needed Someone,’ ‘Love You To,’ ‘Something,’ and ‘For You Blue,’ as well as Clapton’s songs ‘Layla’ and ‘Wonderful Tonight. Her autobiography “Wonderful Today” and her exhibition “Through the Eye of a Muse” are also well-known. She co-founded the charity SHARP with the second wife of Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach.
Youth and Early Life
Patricia Anne Boyd was born in Taunton, Somerset, England, on March 17, 1944, to Colin Ian Langdon Boyd and Diana Frances Boyd. Due to her father’s position in the Royal Air Force, the family migrated frequently until 1953, when he was discharged and the family returned to England.
She is the eldest of her parents’ three children, with siblings named Colin, Jenny, and Paula. After her parents divorced and remarried, she acquired two stepbrothers and two stepsisters: David and Robert Jr., Clare, and Julia.
In 1961, she graduated from high school with three GCE O-level distinctions. The following year, she relocated to London, where she was encouraged to become a model by a ‘Honey magazine employee who observed her working as a shampoo girl at Elizabeth Arden’s salon.
Pattie Boyd’s Career
In 1962, Pattie Boyd entered the fashion industry as a model, predominantly working in London and Paris. She received regular assignments from the UK edition of ‘Vogue’, ‘Vanity Fair’, and ‘Elle’ in France, in addition to appearing on newspaper spreads for ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and ‘The Times’.
She was featured on the cover of British Vogue and collaborated with photographers including David Bailey, Terence Donovan, and Brian Duffy. Since her association with the Beatles in the late 1960s, she has exemplified, alongside Jean Shrimpton, the British feminine “look” that has defined Western fashion for women.
Richard Lester cast her as an adolescent in the 1964 Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” after she worked with him on a television advertising campaign for Smith’s crisps. During this time, she became romantically involved with the lead guitarist of the Beatles, George Harrison, which not only heightened interest in her personal life but also substantially advanced her modeling career.
She promptly received additional assignments from ‘Vogue’ and ‘Vanity Fair’; did a photo shoot with photographer Jeanloup Sieff for ‘Tatler’; and appeared in additional fashion ads and commercials for Smith’s and L’Oréal. “By far the most glamorous” of the Beatles’ wives and girlfriends, Pattie Boyd exemplified “sixties stardom,” with women aspiring “to look like Pattie Boyd rather than Marlene Dietrich.”
Gloria Stavers persuaded her to write a column for the American adolescent magazine ’16’ titled ‘Patti’s Letter from London’ about the latest fashion trends on Carnaby Street, including information about the Beatles’ and Stones’ attire. However, Harrison requested that she cease after she became the target of female Beatles fans.
She then began a business venture with her sister Jenny, who is also a model, by establishing the boutique Jennifer Juniper in the Chelsea Market neighborhood of London to sell antiques and other works of art. She was the shop’s purchaser, while her sister manages the store.
In her later modeling career, she promoted Ossie Clark designs, appeared on multiple British “Vogue” covers, and posed with her sisters for the publication. She collaborated with photographer Justin de Villeneuve and model Twiggy on a Vogue Italia cover shoot.
On Valentine’s Day 2005, she exhibited her 1960s photographs of Harrison and Clapton at the San Francisco Art Exchange under the title “Through the Eye of a Muse.” In 2011, she displayed “Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton” on Santa Catalina Island in California and at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.
pattie’s Major Opera
As a model, Pattie Boyd is best known for defining the British female aesthetic with her “mini-skirt, long, straight hair, and wide-eyed beauty.” As a photographer, her exhibitions ‘Through the Eye of a Muse’ and ‘Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton’ are equally well-known.
Personal History and Legacy
After meeting for the first time on March 2, 1964, Pattie Boyd, who was in a relationship with photographer Eric Swayne, declined George Harrison’s first date proposal. However, she shortly broke up with Swayne and went on a date with Harrison to the Garrick Club, a private gentlemen’s club. In July 1964, after Harrison purchased the home ‘Kinfauns’ in Esher, Surrey, she moved in with him. The couple became engaged on December 25, 1965, and were married at the Epsom register office on January 21, 1966.
Boyd had introduced Harrison to meditation, which resulted in their six-week vacation to India, where Harrison took sitar lessons from Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar and she learned to play the dilruba. She and her sister Jenny accompanied the Beatles to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India, in February 1968.
Soon after their return, the manager of the Beatles, Brian Epstein, died unexpectedly, compelling the musicians to focus on the business side of the band, which strained their relationship. After the Beatles disbanded a year later, and Harrison became especially involved with the Hare Krishna movement, the couple’s relationship deteriorated further.
In the early 1970s, she resumed her modeling career, began an affair with Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, and left Harrison in 1974, following his affair with Ringo Starr’s wife, Maureen. Two years after their divorce, in 1979, she wed guitarist Eric Clapton, who had declared his love for her in the song “Layla” while she was still married to George Harrison.
Due to his alcoholism and multiple indiscretions, including one with Italian model Lory Del Santo, she eventually left Clapton in 1987 and divorced him in 1989. Later, in 1991, she began a relationship with property developer Rod Weston, whom she wed on April 29, 2015.
In August of 2007, she published her autobiography, Wonderful Today, under the title Wonderful Tonight in the United States. It was co-authored with journalist and broadcaster Penny Junor and debuted at number one on the ‘New York Times’ Best Seller list in the United States.
Estimated Net Worth
The English model, author, and photographer Pattie Boyd have a net worth of $20 million. Pattie Boyd, who was born in Taunton, England in 1944, began her modeling career in several international locations in 1962. By the end of the decade, she had appeared on the cover of “Vogue” and had begun contributing to “16 Magazine.”
Early in 1965, while attending a party hosted by her dentist, John Riley, Pattie Boyd consumed an LSD-laced cocktail. While returning home with her then-husband Harrison, she allegedly threatened to shatter a store window while under the influence of the drug.