“I never wanted to get married,” says Pattie Boyd. “I was aware that there were secretarial colleges, but I knew that wasn’t for me.” Instead, she became a model. Boyd got to London in 1962, just as the city was starting to swing, and her big blue eyes, blond bangs, pouty Mattel mouth, and that slight space between her two front teeth were made to order for the era. Mary Quant was rising as a designer and David Hockney as an artist, and Boyd—Jean Shrimpton by way of a string bean—became their muse.
By 1964, Boyd was famous and dating George Harrison. A typical day started with a morning photo shoot—the likes of David Bailey, Brian Duffy, Terence Donovan, or Norman Parkinson behind the lens—followed by a midday interview for a Beatles film, and maybe another shoot in the afternoon.
She ended up marrying Harrison, on January 21, 1966, a date she marked in her diary with big bold cursive—“getting married”—surrounded by dozens of little hearts. Despite becoming a “Beatle bride,” Boyd remained vehemently independent, scoring still more Vogue covers and movie contracts. “I was just living and having fun with my group of friends, which happened to be the Beatles.”
The book Pattie Boyd: My Life in Pictures, out now, takes us through that first marriage, and then on to her second, to Eric Clapton, and her third, to real-estate developer Rod Weston. Boyd remembers trips to India and Tunisia, describes her houses, and details her switch from modeling to photography. There’s a postcard from John Lennon, who wrote, “Darling, I miss you,” and a shot of Boyd arm in arm with rival rock royalty—the Rolling Stones. Archival magazine covers, photo shoots, and letters punctuate the life. Whether she’s modeling or posing candidly in her pajamas, Boyd perennially embodies that 60s spirit. —Elena Clavarino
Elena Clavarino is the Senior Editor for AIR MAIL