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The Wedding Day: Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski

Photo: GETTY
WHEN: 20th January, 1968

WHERE: Chelsea Registry Office, London

WHAT HAPPENED: American beauty and Valley of The Dolls star Sharon Tate tied the knot with Roman Polanski, the Polish film director whose films such as Rosemary’s Baby had redefined the Hollywood blockbuster. Taking place on a cold winter’s day (and with the groom nursing one hell of a hangover from his stag do the night before) this was a wedding that epitomised everything groovy and cool about ‘Swinging Sixties’ London.

THE DRESS: Tate wore a yellow taffeta mini dress which she had designed herself and decorated her famous blonde locks with dozens of small white flowers. Paired with a ribboned bouquet and a good lick of eyeliner, she was every inch the '60s starlet.

THE GUESTS: The best and brightest of London and LA came together with Joan Collins, Michael Caine and Candice Bergen all in attendance.

THE PARTY: In true rebellious fashion, the reception was held at The Playboy club in Mayfair where the champagne flowed and stars schmoozed and boogied amongst a backdrop of groovy tunes and waitresses in bunny ears. Take a look at some archive footage from the day below. After the reception, the newlyweds headed to a Supremes concert.
Photo: GETTY

The couple were married for over a year and despite Polanski’s rumoured infidelities, the marriage appeared to be a happy one. Tragedy struck in August 1969 when Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant, was murdered along with three friends at her and Polanski’s Los Angeles home. She was 26 years old.

The murders were committed by members of the infamous ‘Manson Family’, a commune who lived in the desert and carried out a series of horrific crimes under the instruction of their leader Charles Manson. Polanski, who was away filming in London when the murders happened, would later describe his time with Sharon as “the happiest years of my life.”

Eight years after her death, Polanski fled the U.S. following a short spell in prison for sexual activity with a minor and has not returned since. He is now remarried and continues to direct films.