Friendships are a beautiful thing. We all need friends, we want other people to like us, and we value their opinions. So when we discover that one of our friends is in a bit of a rut, we try to help them out of it by being there for them, listening to them, and offering advice when asked for. If you have ever been in a position where you think that your friend may be struggling, then this post is for you. We are going to tell you about a couple whose friendship is so powerful that it changed the course of history for the better. Their names are Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and they were married for 59 years when he passed away in 2018, aged 98. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the greatest and most influential women of the 20th century. She changed popular fashion forever, as people remember her legendary Diamonds Are Forever and her many marriages. In 2019, she was voted the greatest woman of the 20th century, and her life was made into a movie of the same name, starring Anne Hathaway and Ramin Djawadi, which is now available to watch on Netflix Instant Play.
Burton was the son of an English barrister and a Welsh mother, and he was born in Shrewsbury in 1914. He studied law at Cambridge University, and went on to work in the family legal practice. In 1938, he qualified as a barrister, and worked in the Middle Temple, London, which is where he gained the reputation as a serious and dedicated lawyer. In the same year, he was called to the bar, he married Elizabeth Taylor, whom he had met at a party in London. They were married for 59 years, and their enduring love and devotion to each other is a testament to the strength of their bond. It was this same strength that got them through their later years together, as Burton’s health began to decline. He was a very private man, and did not always like to be the centre of attention, but Elizabeth always wanted to be by his side. Unfortunately, during their later years together, they became more and more reclusive, as Burton grew increasingly frustrated at being unable to care for himself. By 2018, he was living mainly in Malibu, where he owned a sprawling estate, and was largely reliant on carers and nurses for his daily needs. In February of that year, he was hospitalised for a few days with pneumonia. On 4 March, he passed away peacefully at the age of 98.
Burton’s funeral was a private ceremony, attended only by family and a few close friends. The same day, the Elizabeth Taylor Family Trust released a statement through a spokesperson, saying “The world has lost a great humanist, lawyer and artist, and we have lost a loving father and husband. We will miss him dearly.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The lives of this remarkable couple were absolutely changed by their lifelong friendship, which is an example of how significant – and influential – a couple’s friendship can be. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
A Friendship That Endured All Time
In November 1918, Elizabeth Taylor’s paternal uncle, Francis Taylor, died, and she was left with a large inheritance. It was at this point that she decided to leave Cambridge and head to London, where she intended to live a life of elegance and privilege. In London, she became a regular at the exclusive Bohemian Club, an elite group of men who became her friends and influencers. They included artists like Augustus John, a friend of hers since their schooldays; and T. S. Eliot, the famous author of The Waste Land. Additionally, she became friends with many successful businesspeople, among them Joseph Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller. These connections helped her to further her social standing in London, where she eventually made her home. She frequented the city’s best restaurants and hotels, and had a private income. However, her idle lifestyle did not satisfy her, and in 1930, she met the American playboy millionaire Eddie Prince, who became her second husband. He was an important part of her life for the next few years, and their lavish lifestyle and expensive habits became the subject of rumors and scandal. Nevertheless, they were devoted to each other, and had three children, Michael, Elizabeth, and Cathy, who died in 1931, 1938, and 1940 respectively. Elizabeth and Eddie divorced in 1947, and she moved back to London, where she had a house in Chelsea and a townhouse in Park Lane. They remained friends, however, and he would refer to her as “My best friend” in his will.
It was during this time that Burton decided to become a barrister. He moved to London, and became a QC in 1961. Soon after, he was appointed a King’s Counsel, and began to rise through the ranks of the legal establishment. In the same year, he was appointed Attorney General for England and Wales. In 1970, he was appointed a judge of the High Court, and in 1974, he was appointed Chancellor of the High Court of Wales. He was a very wealthy man, and became known for his lavish lifestyle, which often saw him travel with a personal staff of five, and his love of fast cars. In 1995, he purchased the Elizabeth Taylor Estate in Birtington, Essex, which had been owned by the Astor family for many years. It’s fair to say that Burton’s legal career saw him represent some of the most prominent people in the world of business and government. He became a QC in 1961, a King’s Counsel in 1969, a Judge of the High Court in 1970, and the inaugural Chancellor of the High Court of Wales in 1974. In addition to his court appointments, he was Attorney General for England and Wales from 1970 to 1974, and was instrumental in setting up the UK government’s Criminal Law Reform commission, of which he was a member. He became a QC in 1961, a King’s Counsel in 1969, a Judge of the High Court in 1970, and the inaugural Chancellor of the High Court of Wales in 1974. He was a member of the UK government’s Criminal Law Reform commission, of which he was a member. He was the son of a barrister and a Welsh mother, and was born in Shrewsbury in 1914. He studied law at Cambridge University, and went on to work in the family legal practice. In the same year, he qualified as a barrister, he married Elizabeth Taylor, whom he had met at a party in London. They were married for 59 years, and their enduring love and devotion to each other is a testament to the strength of their bond. It was this same strength that got them through their later years together, as Burton’s health began to decline. He was a very private man, and did not always like to be the centre of attention, but Elizabeth always wanted to be by his side. Unfortunately, during their later years together, they became more and more reclusive, as Burton grew increasingly frustrated at being unable to care for himself. By 2018, he was living mainly in Malibu, where he owned a sprawling estate, and was largely reliant on carers and nurses for his daily needs. In February of that year, he passed away peacefully at the age of 98.
A Life Lived Apart From Social Media
Burton was an absolute media darling, and was regularly invited to give interviews, appear on talk shows, and even give lectures. He didn’t always enjoy being the center of attention, and would often go out of his way to avoid the limelight. Nevertheless, he had a way with words, and could hold a decent conversation. It’s said that he only used “yes” and “no” as words, and would simply nod in the affirmative or negative when asked a question. This made him extremely easy to interview. It’s been noted that he had a photographic memory, and could recall events from decades ago with perfect clarity. This allowed him to be an excellent witness, as he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts, and could describe in great detail what had happened during the case. He had a very distinctive handwriting, and was known to sign his letters and memos with his full name, Richard Michael Burton, which is probably why we know so much about him. He was also an accomplished artist, and is believed to have painted more than 500 portraits during his lifetime. He exhibited his work, mainly portraits, at the Royal Academy, White House, and other prestigious galleries. He also designed the cover for the Beatles’ 1965 album, Help. He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2016. Elizabeth Taylor never liked to be the center of attention, either, and didn’t enjoy being photographed, especially for publicity purposes. She became more withdrawn as she got older, and passed away peacefully in Paris in April 2019, just a few months after her husband. They were both incredibly influential and beloved figures in their time, and will be greatly missed.