“Liz Taylor settles for a simpler life with the county farmer.” So read the headlines (or something similar) in December of 1976 when Elizabeth Taylor and John Warner tied the knot.
John Warner, a Washington, DC native who was considering a run for the Senate when he and Liz were fixed up on a blind date, had quite the pedigree. He had been Secretary of The Navy, the Under Secretary of The Navy (under Nixon), a WWII vet (he served in …. wait for it…. the Navy) and a DC lawyer. Married once prior, he and his ex-wife, Catherine Mellon (the daughter and granddaughter of Paul Mellon and Andrew Mellon, respectively of THE Mellon family), lived on estates next to each other, to make it easier for their children to move back and forth between both homes. To say he was something very different for Elizabeth would be an understatement.
Fresh off of her second divorce from Richard Burton, Liz, who by now is headed for husband number six (and marriage number seven) with John, was said to be thrilled with the slower pace, living on his farm in Middleburg, VA, with his herd of cattle and his fish ponds. For her, it was a significant change of pace. Having been a child star, she had made over fifty films in her life, had multiple marriages and lived most of the last 15 years as a bit of a vagabond on the yacht she and Richard Burton shared or in hotels. John offered her something she’d not really had in a very long time, if ever – a home.
Speaking of giving her something she’d not really had, we’re all clamoring to know what kind of engagement ring he gave her. John already had some stiff competition from rings in her past, so maybe he used the cattle to woo her. I’ve searched high and low for a photo of the “very beautiful ring that included rubies, emeralds and diamonds” with which he proposed, but I have yet to find any photo where it’s clearly visible.
They married at his estate in Middleburg on December 4, 1976, up on a hill, in a simple Episcopalian service. John’s son, the rector and a few friends were present and Elizabeth wore a purple turban, a dress of lavender grey, with gray suede boots and a matching coat of silver fox. She carried a bouquet of lavender and her husband’s gold wedding band in her glove. No word on what John wore, but it appears it was a dark suit and a red and white striped tie. 😉
They seemed happy for a period of time, but this marriage, like the ones before it, was not to last. Liz and John divorced in November of 1982, just a month shy of their sixth wedding anniversary. One has to wonder if it was the politics (they seemed to be on opposite sides of many of the issues of the day) or if life on the “farm” was just too boring for Liz. Whatever it may have been, she and John bid farewell to their marriage and that leaves but one marriage left. But for that, you’ll have to wait until next week.