Elizabeth Taylor 'may be buried in Burton Welsh grave'

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor married twice

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Richard Burton's family say they will honour his agreement with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and allow her to be buried in the family grave if that was her wish.

When Burton and Taylor were married they made plans to be buried together at the cemetery in Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot, south Wales.

Now his niece, Sian Owen, said the family has agreed the actress can still be buried there.

Taylor, who was 79, died on Wednesday.

Her death comes 26 years after that of the Welsh actor, whom she married twice.

However, he was buried close to the home in Switzerland he shared with his last wife Sally.

Ms Owen said her family would still honour Taylor and Burton's original plans.

"If she has stipulated in her will that that's what she wants then, of course, we will be 100% behind her," she said.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor visited the family of Richard Burton in Pontrhydyfen following his death in August 1984.

She was asked to stay away from the funeral in Switzerland because family feared her presence would create a media circus.

Burton married Taylor twice - first in 1964 and they divorced only to re-marry in a reunion that lasted five months before divorcing again in 1976.

But Taylor maintained they loved each other to the end and, when Burton died in 1984 aged 58, she was inconsolable.

Sign welcoming people to Pontrhydyfen There are tributes to Burton around Pontrhydyfen

Her family are expected to make a decision soon about the funeral of the Hollywood star.

Guy Masterson, great nephew of Richard Burton, said while it was not for him to comment as to where Dame Elizabeth should be buried, the couple were now "together".

"I know that she expressed her desire to be buried with Richard," he said.

"In the public imagination Elizabeth and Richard are forever together and I guess they are together now."

Actor Robert Hardy, who was a close friend of Burton after they met at Oxford, described Burton's relationship with Taylor as "explosive".

Mr Hardy admitted he was initially "icy" on meeting Taylor having known Burton's first wife, Sybil Williams, whom he divorced in 1963 following an affair with Taylor.

Mr Hardy said Burton had been "struck by lightning" when he met Taylor on the set of the 1962 film Cleopatra.

'Wreck of what she had been'

"It was an explosive love and a tremendous love on both parts and lasted throughout Richard's life and throughout Elizabeth's life," he said.

Mr Hardy described how Taylor had said "don't hate me" upon their first meeting and how he was a "gonner" when she embraced and kissed him on the lips on another meeting.

He saw Taylor for the final time last April at a dinner at Buckingham Palace marking the 60th anniversary of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD).

"A wheelchair turned up beside me and I realised it was Elizabeth," he said.

"She was bent double in her chair and a wreck of what she had been."

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