George Harrison had to ask Beatles manager Brian Epstein for permission to marry Pattie Boyd

It was love at first sight for George Harrison and his first wife, Pattie Boyd. The Beatles asked the 19-year-old actor and model to marry them on the first day they met. However, to get married a few years later, they needed permission from Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Beatles manager Brian Epstein, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pattie Boyd | SSPL/Getty Images

Brian Epstein chaperoned George Harrison and Pattie Boyd’s first date

In 1964, George met Boyd on the set of the Beatles’ first feature film, A hard day’s Night. The first day they met, George asked Boyd to marry him.

“George, with velvet brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the most handsome man I had ever seen,” Boyd said according to Far Out Magazine. “During a lunch break, I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.

In Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George HarrisonJoshua M. Greene wrote: “She asked George for her autograph, and running out of any other way to communicate his feelings, he scored little hearts under her name.

After filming her first scene, George turned to her and said, “Will you marry me?” She laughed, unable to decipher whether George was joking or not. What made her special?

When Boyd didn’t respond, George continued, “Well, if you don’t want to marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?” Boyd was dating photographer Eric Swayne, so she declined George’s offer. However, she didn’t like being with Swayne and left him.

During his next scene in A hard day’s Night, she said to George. He asked her out again. This time she said yes.

They went to the Garrick Club in Covent Garden that evening, chaperoned by Epstein. Although Boyd was not upset. “I didn’t blame him [Brian Epstein’s] presence on our first date – he was good company and seemed to know everything about London wine, food and restaurants,” Boyd said.

“And maybe if George and I, two very young and very shy people, had been alone in such an adult restaurant, it would have been too intense.”

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George needed Epstein’s permission to marry Boyd

Greene wrote that “George’s initial infatuation was as a teenager – he claimed Pattie reminded him of his favorite film star, Brigitte Bardot – but he soon discovered that in this vivacious young woman he had found a partner. compatible”.

After that first date in 1964, Boyd took an active role in her boyfriend’s life. “They attended Allen Ginsberg’s thirty-ninth birthday party and made a hasty retreat when the beat poet greeted them naked. They went clubbing with the Moody Blues, attended movie premieres like Alfie with Michael Caine, and smiled when friends referred to “George-and-Pattie” instead of “George”, as if they were one entity. »

George proposed on Christmas Day 1965 while the couple were on their way to a party at Epstein’s house. “We were just driving around,” Boyd recalled (according to Greene), “listening to the radio when all of a sudden he told me very calmly that he loved me and wanted us to get married.

“I think I just said yes or such nonsense. But believe me, inside, I was doing cartwheels. We were really very much in love.

George jumped out of the car and walked in “to consult” with Epstein. Then, 10 minutes later, he came back and said, “It’s fine. Brian said we could get married in January. Let’s go.

George and Boyd married three weeks later and spent their honeymoon in Barbados.

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Epstein didn’t want big problems with the marriage

George and Boyd were married at a registry office in Surrey on January 21, 1966. The couple’s families were in attendance. The Beatles Paul McCartney and Epstein were also there to show their support.

In his memoirs, beautiful tonight, Boyd wrote that she didn’t want a registry office wedding, but Epstein was also behind that decision. He didn’t want to make the case a big deal.

“It’s not the most glamorous place, it wasn’t the wedding I had dreamed of – I would have loved to get married in church, but Brian didn’t want a fuss,” he said. she writes. “They all trusted him so implicitly that when he said it should be a marriage at the registry office, George agreed. He also said it had to be secret – if the press found out, it would be chaotic.

Epstein was very present in George and Boyd’s first relationship. However, his influence eventually waned.

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