Legendary Hollywood couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made history with their romance and their marriages full of drama, passion and notoriety. Liz Taylor’s legendary beauty led to fame, riches, and eight marriages but only those with Richard Burton are the most memorable and controversial.
Their love story began 50 years ago, on the set of Cleopatra. Despite both being married to other people – she was wed to fourth husband Eddie Fisher, and he was with his first wife Sybil Williams – they fell in love and a year after wrapping up filming, they were seen holidaying together on the Italian island of Ischia. Thus, their relationship ignited lots of controversy since its beginning. a he gave her a platinum-set Bulgari pendant featuring a 18.61 carat emerald surrounded by diamonds, designed so it could be detached and worn as a brooch, but nine days after the beautiful actress finalized her divorce, they got married.
It happened in Toronto, where Burton was starring in Hamlet. The ceremony was intimate and private. On March 15, 1964, in the ceremony room from the Ritz Carlton Hotel, only nine people witnessed the happy moment. Elizabeth looked stunning in her empire-style chiffon gown in daffodil yellow. She was wearing the emerald and diamond brooch presented to her by her husband and in her hair, the beautiful London-born brunette wore lilies of the valley and white hyacinths.
“This marriage will last forever,” said the bride only that it didn’t happen this way. After ten years of famously tempestuous marriage, during which Richard gave her expensive jewelery – from the 70-carat flawless pear-shaped diamond ring that was subsequently renamed the Taylor-Burton Diamond, to the 33-carat Krupp jewel she wore in several of her movies, their marriage ended. They divorced on June 26, 1974, in Saarinen, Switzerland but they realized that despite their ups and downs they couldn’t live apart so they married again. 16 months after their divorce, the famous couple eloped and tied the knot in secret in Africa. They traveled to Johannesburg and then on to Victoria Falls, where they were taken to the Chobe lodge. The private 20-minute ceremony was conducted by an African district commissioner, Abrose Masalila, in the remote village of Kasane, Botswana and had only one witness, the manager of the lodge where they were staying. The violet-eyed actress still looked like a goddess wearing green with lace frills and guinea fowl feathers, while her husband dressed in a red shirt, white trousers and red socks. This second star-studded union was followed by a small reception on the banks of the Chobe River.
Then, they traveled the world together, acted together and finally they dissolved for the second and last time, the ties that kept them together legally. the charismatic Welsh actor could no longer tolerate his wife’s entourage and her possessiveness and she got tired of his black moods and his heavy drinking. The Hollywood temptress who was a fascinating mixture of good girl/bad girl went on to wed John Warner on December 4, 1976, a marriage that lasted until November 1982, before marrying Larry Fortensky from 1991 to 1996. Richard Burton also went on with his life and married Susan Hunt – 1976 until 1982 – and Sally Hay, but he continued to love Elizabeth. Their relationship and their marriages really captured the spirit of the times and the glamour and mystery of their weddings and marriages still endures today.