Relationships May 2021

A Mother Above All Else

Out of all the roles she played, being a mother was her favorite one. As Elizabeth said herself, about her four children, “They make me the proudest of anything that I’ve ever done.”

Elizabeth shared her two eldest sons, Michael Wilding Jr. and Christoper Wilding, with her second husband, Michael Wilding, gave birth to her daughter Liza Todd with her third husband, Mike Todd, and her adopted daughter, Maria, with her fifth and sixth husband, Richard Burton. With four kids and a busy, globe-trotting career, one fact is for certain: Elizabeth’s household was always bustling with entertainment and constantly filled with love.

Elizabeth made sure to surround her children with compassion and care, going to great lengths to shield them from the spotlight as best she could. "Christopher Wilding once said to me, 'My mother protected us from the circus,’” William J. Mann, author of How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood, told ABC. "That didn't mean they didn't see paparazzi — sometimes, there was no way to avoid it. In general, she was very protective of them."

With an unmatched love for life, Elizabeth was always searching for ways to create special moments for her children. “Elizabeth had a special place in the garden where she would set up a little petting zoo for the children at Easter. It was adorable,” her friend Veronique Peck stated. “Sometimes she would book performers from Cirque du Soleil to do acrobatics outdoors. There was always some wonderful surprise like that.” Everyday celebrations were the rule rather than the exception.

I’ve never felt more alive than watching my children delight in something.
Elizabeth Taylor

Beyond the accolades, cover stories, business ventures, and philanthropic work, Elizabeth was a mom first — and she wouldn’t have had it any other way.